This lesson the weather was nicer than usual and Tom suggested that I practice some new skills. I flew N5253R, same as before and I am becoming much more familiar with it. I tried to do preflight mostly on my own with Tom watching and pointing out anything I missed. We took off and followed a northern heading out of KCDW. I have gotten used to the steam gauges but still have a little trouble with the compass as I tend to overshoot the heading when turning. After about 10 minutes of cruising and steadily climbing. We practiced a few turns and some slow-flight. I am getting down the procedure of lowering the flaps, switching on carb heat and bringing the engine RPM back to 1600. After Slow flight we did some power on stalls. They were much more difficult to recover from than the power off stalls I was used to but I slowly got the hang of it by learning to use the level on the turn coordinator to stabilize the recovery. Next Tom demonstrated an incipient spin which was both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. We then headed back to Caldwell turned at the Lincoln Park water tank to make our final approach. I carefully followed Toms instructions as we approached the runway making little corrections and decreasing airspeed. I touched the plane down and turned to taxi back to Fischer. I later asked Tom if he had had his hands on the controls during the landing an he said he did not. This was my first landing without Tom holding the controls and is a step forward for me as a student pilot.
This lesson I flew N5253R instead of N90559 which I had been flying for my last 7 lessons. The only noticeable difference between the planes was the traditional gauges vs the G1000 system that I had gotten used to. Tom helped me locate the all of the buttons that were in different places in the new cockpit. Under Tom’s guidance I took off and maintained an altitude of 2500 ft. I held a northern heading for about 5 or 7 minutes. Then I practiced some 35 degree turns for awhile. We next climbed to 3500 ft to do some slow flight. In N90559 the flaps control has notches that allows you to put them down 10 degrees at a time. However, in N5253R, there are no notches so you just have to hold down the switch. Tom told me that 3 seconds of holding the switch lowered the flaps about 10 degrees, but I kept looking at the flap angle indicator and not focusing on the windshield. This is something I can easily correct next lesson. After slow flight, Tom told me to turn back to Caldwell and I made a right turn at the water tank on my approach to the runway. I guided the aircraft almost all way to the runway adjusting my direction, speed and altitude under Toms careful instruction. I was just about ready to touch down when the plane veered suddenly to the right and Tom quickly brought it back to the center and with his help, I landed. Overall I enjoyed this plane more because the G1000 system in the other aircraft made it feel like I was flying a simulator because I ended up staring at the same screen throughout the entire flight.