Lesson 28- Pattern work

Today, Dave and I stayed in the pattern for landings. I couldn’t solo today because of the wind, but got some good lessons for when I do. The wind kept pushing me past a rectangular course from upwind to crosswind, so next time I have to remember that. I also have to remember to call the tower on midfield, and bring the power back to 1500 when crossing the numbers. My landings were continuously high, but it felt more comfortable like that versus the one landing that I was low on. I find that I always go high because I feel like the average glide slope is a little low, so I have to train my brain not to think that. Also, one last point I must make sure for my solo is that when the plane balloons omniscience’s landing, I MUST push the nose down IMMEDIATELY and push in a little power. Other than that, the flight wasn’t too bad today and I can’t wait until my solo!

Lesson 27- Landings

Today, Dave and I flew out to Morristown to do a few landings. The winds were gusting to about 25, so our 4 landings were interesting, to say the least. We only got to fly .8 hours, but today taught me a lot, including my personal maximums at this point. Our landings at Morristown were okay, but I did need some help from Dave at points. Next time, i need to learn not to focus on one part, and instead worry about everything going on. My altitude holding wasn’t too good, and I was a little sloppy with speed. Hopefully my next flight isn’t as windy ;)

Lesson 25- Stage Check

I flew out with Tom in N50906 today for my stage check today, and I feel it went very well! I haven’t flown since November, this was a new aircraft, and I have never landed on runway 28 before but nothing got in my way of performing to thew best of my ability. We went North to the practice area and did slow flight, steep turns, stalls, and a simulated engine failure. My only criticism was that I did not do the LCGUMPS check when the engine went out to secure the engine. We flew back to the airport for a touch and go which went well, and then a full stop which was a little jarring but at least everything was okay :P. The aircraft was nice and easy to get back in the swing of things on, and if this plane is here to stay I would love to fly in it more often. For my next flight, I will remember to complete the LCGUMPS check after an engine failure, and hopefully my solo day will come soon!

Lesson 24- Pre solo work

Today Dave and I did some more pre solo work, as I didn’t do too well on the stage check. It had been nearly two months before I last flew on the day of the stage check, so naturally I wasn’t at my best. Today, Dave and I went through all the maneuvers to reinforce my knowledge, and it helped tremendously. I learned some tricks to make my maneuvers better, and overall got to get some actual time down to solidify my mind and knowledge. I learned small things that I didn’t previously know, such as some ways the attitude indicator can help that I never knew existed. I am taking one more of these flights with dave soon to make sure I know my stuff, and then will hopefully go up with tom (without a 2 month gap this time ;)).

Lesson 22- Pre Solo Work Again

Dave and I went out to the practice area today to finish up with the solo work we did last time. We started off with steep turns, which he said were “textbook” when I did them (yes!). Next, we did slow flight, which was ok but I went a little too slow. We finished that off with a power off stall, which was as usual. Then, we did power on stalls. I have to remember not to dive for long, and instead keep the nose at a more level position. We came back to the airport for some landings, which weren’t too great. I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but next flight I’m going to make it a point to see if I’m centered in my seat or not because I felt like the landing needed way more right rudder than I felt- almost sideways. I have to remember pitch, power and trim when going to cruise, which I only started getting towards the end of the flight. It’s pitch, power and trim when leveling off from altitude gain, and power pitch trim when descending into cruise. Hopefully next flight goes smoother so that I can solo this month!

Lesson 20- Pre Solo work

Today, Dave and I went out to the practice are for pre solo work. We did power off stalls, slow flight and steep turns. My steep turns were good and my slow flight was good as well. My stalls were ok, but I have to be more confident about the recovery. Dave taught me his “upside down question mark” trick to make sure the airplane is configured. It goes as follows- Fuel selector, mixture, throttle, lights and prime. I will remember that for next time so that my checklists can go by quicker. I did a lot more radio work than I usually do today, which was good as well. With my landings, I did a great job at maintaining centerline all the way down until it was time to land, where i veered to the left both times. Next time, Ill add more right rudder in the flare to compensate for the gyro, and that should fix my problem. Next time, I have to be a little more confident and I also have to do Power on stalls. Once I am proficient in all of these maneuvers, I can take my pre solo check ride and then I can solo!

Lesson 19- Pattern work

Today, the weather wasn’t looking too great so dave and I stayed in the pattern. Before take off, we did some ground time where I learned more about the pattern than I did before, like that I should be at around 800′ on downwind. Small things like this helped me make my patterns more precise, and therefore making me nail my landings more consistently. I learned where to have what rpm’s, speeds, altitudes and what kind of turns to make where, all of which I didn’t know before. I feel that without this, my patterns would never have been as good as they are now so I am very happy I learned all this today. I took a picture of the diagram that Dave drew, so I can do some chair flying before the flight to be even better next time. I hope to do more pattern and solo prep next week for my upcoming birthday and hopefully solo!

Lesson 18- Solo Prep

Today, Dave and I flew out to the practice area for solo prep. My Birthday is in October, and I plan to solo close to then. We did slow flight, stalls and steep turns, then came back to land. I did well in the slow flight and power off stalls, but had trouble keeping the aircraft coordinated during power on stalls. Dave told me it was because instead of holding rudder, i was constantly kicking it. I thought that holding it would end up overcompensating, but then I realized that if I just kick it it will end up yawing back to where it was originally. On landing, I was doing well. I was a little fast on short final, and right before we touched down I kicked the rudder again but the approach itself was definitely better, because I was doing more things myself. Im going to start flying more often so that I am 100% prepared to solo as close to my birthday as possible.

Lesson 17- Touch and Goes

Today, Dave and I took a quick flight to the Wannaque Reservoir just to get some flying in before heading back to KCDW for touch and goes. I tend not to look to the end of the runway on my flare, and in the beginning I was way off centerline. I managed to fix these errors for one perfect landing and two near perfect ones. On the downside, however, I got two terrible ones. I was way off centerline on the first one, and hit the ground hard and at an angle. On the second, I was close to the ground and thought I had to maintain 70 its, and dived towards the runway without thinking. Luckily, nothing was too dangerous and it gave me a great lesson to remember for next time. I  realized that instead of constantly going by the books, I have to also use my feel when in the pattern, and as soon as that clicked in my brain, I got that one perfect landing down. Next time, Ill remember to do that every time. In closing, after today I feel my landings will be much better because I learned more of the ins and outs on greasing landings, so hopefully I can show off my skills next flight!

Lesson 16- Slow Flight

today, Dave and I took 811JD out to land at Greenwood lake. We went down, and throughout the landing I was a little sloppy on keeping altitude and airspeed. We took off again and he wanted to practice slow flight for the rest of our time, so we headed back to the airport in slow flight configuration. It gave me such a better understanding about feeling the plane, and I feel infinitely more confident with my landings. At KCDW, I did everything very well right up to the runway, where I started drifting off centerline. Next time I will be more conscious about tracking centerline, and also remembering that when changing altitudes, i shod always go Pitch, Power, and then Trim. overall, the flight was very informative, and I am confident that I will be much better next time. I am good at flying, but still need help with radio work so I would like to start practicing that more.