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May 22, 1999, 4pm
(1.2 hrs) 4.1 total
I got to the airport with the sky overcast and thunderstorms rumbling in the north. But they
were far enough away and moving to the east so we were able to fly the
pattern alone. After 3 touch and gos and 2 go arounds due to my
high final (remember to maintain airspeed on final and turn to base
far enough out to get down to runway!), we did a simulated engine failure.
Maintain best glide speed (70kts) and slip left to the runway on short
base and final, when I have the runway made, throw in some flaps to slow down for landing. After that we climbed to 4,000 using the pattern
and pulled the throttle for a second simulated engine failure.I spiraled
down at 70kts, keeping the left wing over the numbers, or at least in the
general vicinity, and rolled out at pattern altitude after two 360s
to set up for a short base and final. But this landing was a bit high,
long and bumpy since the wind was now starting to kick in. We taxied off
the runway for another takeoff from runway 4 for a few more touch and
gos. Im now starting to realize that I need to mentally fly ahead of
the plane and anticipate more. Pilot the plane rather than being a passenger. I still need to watch my airspeed on
base and final. Keep the wind drift in mind too, on the downwind leg
and on stuff like the engine-out spirals.
May 27, 1999, 6pm
(.8 hrs) 4.9 total
A sunny day with high wispy clouds and fair breeze. We would be flying
N5478T today and took off from runway 22. Immediately I realized the
wind was a lot stronger than I've flown in before with some pretty strong
gusts tossed in for good measure. It took a fairly acute crab angle
to hold the extended centerline on our climbout. After we left the pattern
we headed north and up to 4,000 to practice power-on stalls and
minimum controllable airspeed. Im gradually getting better at
holding my altitude in minimum controllable airspeed, but need to add
power more aggressively and watch inadvertent banks. After a few of
those, we headed back to the airport for a touch and go...with a lineup
that wasnt too bad considering the crosswind, but it was very
gusty and I ballooned it back up before touching down.
Climbing back into the pattern, we were joined by another plane ahead
of us. It was an intro flight and we aborted our final into a go-around
since they had not cleared the active runway. Then more planes began
to call that they were joining the downwind with us and it took a bit
of anxious scanning to find them all. I spotted them first (and a few
others before) which is good for me. Usually Im looking in the
wrong direction or dont see them at all until Karen points them
out. I must be getting better if I can spot them before her.
landing was up, down and sideways, but yet still under control for the most part.
Just let the wind do what it is going to do, even if that means boucing
us around, let the plane fly and stay focused on the lineup and landing.
One more big gust just before touchdown kicked us up 10 feet and caused
us to float down the runway a little further.
May 29, 1999, 4pm
(1.6 hrs) 6.5 total
It was a usual summer day, partly cloudy with a lot of haze and steady
breeze most of the day. I guess its official now. I seem to be
eating, drinking and sleeping flying. I dreamt all night long about
flying the pattern. Across from the numbers, carb heat on, throttle
back to 1700RPM, at Vfe throw in 10 degrees of flaps, watch the airspeed, lineup and land,...do it
again. And thats the way it was. A new plane to play with today:
N065WB. Just like 78T except with electric flaps instead of that big
Johnson bar on the floor.With a
storm threatening to move overhead, we stayed in the pattern for most
of the day. Consistency is starting to creep into my piloting skills.
My altitude management is becoming much better today in the pattern, with
less tendency to overbank past 30 degrees, but the wind still throws
me off my lineup in the turn from base to final. Think ahead of the plane...
an hour of touch and gos at Cherokee, the wind had died down and
we took a break of sorts by heading north to Pickens
County, another small strip with no tower.Once we
arrived there, we threatened to buzz a car that was on the runway as
we flew our final approach to 16, but he turned off in time for us to touch
and go. Up and around again for another touch and go, a great lineup
and a perfect descent rate, but then I blew it all to hell by not flaring
quite soon enough and touching down nosewheel first. Quite a jolt and
it was very quiet on the climb back up to pattern altitude.I think
she was kicking herself while I was taking a mental beating for patting
myself on the back before we were on terra firma. Then we headed east
for some 2,000 sight seeing around the foothills and then turned
back home. We entered from the upwind side and I began to put carb heat
on as we turned and crossed over the numbers, but caught myself. She
said yes then caught herself and said no, youre right and we had a laugh as we confused each other. A decent landing to end
the longest lesson so far.
Not much to a 3rd Class Medical exam. An eye test, pee in a cup, check
my blood pressure and a subtle test to be sure I can hear, as the doctor
carried on a quiet conversation facing away me so I cant read
his lips. Nothing invasive or traumatic. He found nothing wrong, so
I walked out with a medical permission slip to fly.
June 3, 1999, 7pm
(1.6 hrs) 8.1 total
It was raining as I got to the airport, with a dark thundercloud hanging
over Pickens County just to the north. We had ground school for about
an hour and by then the sky had cleared up enough to fly. A quick preflight
and taxi to runway 4 for another hour or so of touch and gos.
Another simulated engine failure at pattern altitude across from the
numbers on downwind. I think she's trying to tell me something about
getting better at the flare but still have to watch the turns from downwind
to base to final. Round it out if the wind is pushing toward the runway.
A slight bit better today on my airspeed awareness on landings. Karen
commented after I greased a landing that it was a good thing I had my
medical. Misunderstanding momentarily, I thought she meant medical insurance.
But what she really meant that she would probably step out and send
me into the sky solo very soon.
After a lot of touch and gos, we headed for Pickens for some more
with a relatively different wind direction. Same song, second verse.
Pattern altitude is 2,300 there and I even remembered to turn
crosswind at 2,000. Pretty good since I seem to forget just about
everything else, like what leg of the pattern Im currently on
and where I am outside of the pattern. I know where Im at, but
the incredibly complicated task of getting it to come out of my mouth in coherent fashion on the radio
is another story. She tells me what to tell the "tower" but it leaks out
the sieve called my brain the very next moment. More concentration or
more relaxation, Im not sure what will help.After 2
touch and gos on runway 34, we came to a full stop, turned around
and took off from 16. At pattern altitude when we started the turn to
downwind, she cut throttle and we tried to teardrop approach back to
runway 34 for a simulated emergency landing. I didnt get us to
Vy, best glide speed, fast enough and we wouldnt have made it
if it was for real. Close, but not quite.Once more
in the pattern to answer an earlier question about landing with no flaps.
We touched down with no flaps on 34 and found it's very hard to get
the speed down to 70kts. We floated over too much runway before touchdown,
even with a strong headwind. Then we took off from 16 and made our way
back to Cherokee where we entered the pattern just behind traffic and I made a decent