First Flight Blog

After flying for almost 50 hours I am finally starting to blogging my flights, in “English”.

A little background of my flying lesson since this is my first blog. I have flown with Dave, Felix, Owen and Bob for about 50 hours, and is now preparing for my solo, which means I’m struggling on consistent good landings. While initially struggling on some maneuvers, I am fairly comfortable with slow flight, steep turns, and stalls now. I haven’t really managed ground references on s-turns and turn around a point, but having flown in the pattern at Caldwell so many times I at least have rectangular course set up here at KCDW. One more thing to note is when I started my training I flew piper only but starting April 2016 I switched to Cessna following Felix’s suggestion.

Alright let’s dive into today’s training with Bob.Today was a good day to fly. A little windy but a clear sky. As I said I’m practicing making good landings, we flew to K4N1 Greenwood Lake for our practice. Nice take-off and climb, we reached 2,500 ft. shortly. To remind myself in the future, I should hold 900 ft. before crossing high way I-80. No time to enjoy nice view of the Wanaque, I found Greenwood Lake common advisory frequency from my chart. After noting down the weather at Greenwood Lake, we decided that Runway 24 is favoring the wind and we were in a 45 degree entry to the pattern. During descending, I passed the pattern altitude 1,800 ft. by 200 ft. In an attempt to hold altitude I became slow, I was fumbling to add power to get back up but only found myself abeaming the number. As you can imagine, this approach was not smooth and accurate, so we went around even though we were not too far. The next time, Bob covered my airspeed indicator so that I can only judge my airspeed by attitude outside of the window used power setting at each leg to set the correct configuration. My downwind leg is always too close to the runway, so there isn’t much base leg for me to descend. For practice purposes we did not land, instead we low passed the runway and went around the pattern again and again.

To correct the mistake on downwind, we turned crosswind early while still climbing. This allowed me extra time in crosswind leg so when I turn to downwind I have enough space between the runway and me. In the end we made one landing at Greenwood Lake then headed back to Caldwell.

At Caldwell my descending was good. And when turning from base to final the airspeed was almost constant between 65 to 70 knots. Bob was giving me instructions to add or reduce power, and I was fighting the gusts by rudder controls. As we approached the runway I pulled my yolk too abruptly, without a transition from nose down to level. With enough air speed we did not stall and touched down on the main gear.

This training ended on a higher note, although the transition could be done better. Next time we are going to practice power off approach again, to make sure I have better air speed control.