New Airplane, New Runway in Gusty Wind

I had better days in landing. Today was not one of them.

We got bumped to 5253R since 811JD is going to be sent to 100 hr maintenance next week. Although 5253R is the same M model 172 Cessna but the airspeed indicator is marked in MPH instead of knots. The wind is gusting above ground level, favoring 28. The combination of these conditions made today’s training difficult, but that’s why we train.

Many times, I got myself slow on downwind. The trim was set correctly, so it got to be me pulling the yolk causing the slowdown. The difference in landscape might have also contributed to the pulls, perhaps the hills at the end of 28 made me feel like I got to keep the nose up to avoid them. And on final approach, what Bob had warned me about rapid descending expectedly happened after we cleared of the hill.

In my first landing I had a lot of left rudder holding, thinking I had a right crosswind and I must correct for it. The fact that I couldn’t recognize which way my nose is pointing kind concerns me. If I can’t tell then very likely there will be some side load on the gear. Or even worse, slide off the runway.

On another approach, we got high, so we had to go around. I think I got the procedure correct: full power, flaps up, carburetor heat in then stop the flaps until we have positive rate of climb, then we baby back the flaps.

Today’s training was not perfect; Bob said he wished that I could try what we had practiced on 811JD, the plane I used to fly. But eventually when we become a pilot we need to know how to fly different airplanes at different airports and runways. It may take some getting used to another similar aircraft, but to become a better pilot we must learn to adapt.