Steep Turns

How steep? 45 degrees. I felt the g-forces on my face and had to hold it until I completed the 360 degree turn – and then again the other way. We slowed down to about 90-95 knots, picked out a point up-wind on which to roll out, and then started the turn. As we were establishing the bank, we put the throttle in about 200rpm. Then we sat back in the seat so the g-force is better aligned with the spine. As we rolled out, we pitched forward and took out the two full wheels of trim that we needed.

We flew over to Orange County Airport to do some cross-wind take-offs and landings. We came in too high on the first one and had to do a go-around. That screwed up a practice GPS approach that a Cirrus was making towards us on the same runway – sorry! These landings were not too good, I must say. Maybe it was the wind, or the different airport with a narrower runway, or maybe I’m just not very good at crosswind landings. More practice next time!

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.9

Smoother Landings

It was a bit chilly today, but a great day for flying. We flew out to the West. After some basic simulated instrument flying, we did some more S-turns and Turns around a point. The wind was tricky, but we found some straight railroad tracks that worked as a reference.

We flew back to Caldwell to do some Touch & Go’s. My landings got smoother towards the end when I got closer to the ground before leveling off and flaring. I was flaring high because I have an aversion to hitting the ground… I think we all do.

And that’s all!

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.3

Go? No go?

The weather was crazy today. It rained in the afternoon and I thought, “man, another rained out lesson”. But it passed pretty quickly. When I got in my car the sun was out and all was good. 10 minutes later, when I got to the airport, it was pouring. The winds were gusting to 22 knots and, once again, it did not look like I was going flying. I hung around the airport just in case. The sun came out again. I checked the weather with my instructor and we decided to try it. (hey, if anything he’ll fly the plane.)

It turned out to be great and not very choppy. The winds kept shifting but it was manageable.

We pretty much reviewed today. We did a simulated emergency landing, slow flight, power-on and power-off stalls, S-turns, turns around a point and headed back home.

I had a few new things with me today. I got my own fuel tester (so I didn’t have to borrow Tom’s anymore). I got a knee board – now I can write down the ATIS information instead of trying to remember it. And finally, I got a new David Clark headset. No more messing around with those rentals.

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.6

Ground Reference Maneuvers

Another nice day for flying. It was a bit windy today, so we were able to do some ground reference maneuvers. There are two in particular that we did: S-turns and turns around a point.

S-turns

We found a road perpendicular to the wind, so we headed to it. Turns out, it wasn’t that good of a reference. So, we found a row of planted trees. That worked. We entered the S-turn on a downwind. Once we crossed the road, we started a steep turn, which got less steep until we had our wings level and were crossing the road again. Then, to the other side, we started with a shallow turn at first and ended with a steep turn. This is all so that the ground track of the plane is even on both sides of the S. Otherwise, the wind pushes you all over the place.

Turns around a Point

We found a little shed in the middle of a field and decided to use that as a point. Same as the S-turns, we entered downwind and started with a steep bank again. It got shallower and then steeper when coming around again. Same concept as the S-turns, but this time we stay turning in the same direction. Why do we do it you might ask? Well, we actually got to experience an actual application of this today. On downwind for landing, the Tower asked us to do a 360 to separate landing traffic. Perfect. I turned around a building on the ground and set up on the downwind again.

On the way out to the practice area, I was blinded again with the hood. I did a couple of 180 degree turns, a climb, a descent and some climbing and descending turns while looking at just the instruments. I need to remember to check my attitude indicator more often. Sometimes I felt like I was level and when I looked back at the indicator, I was actually banked to the left. I can practice the proper scan – Attitude, Speed, Attitude, Turn Coordinator, Attitude, Heading, Attitude, Vertical Speed Indicator, Attitude, Speed, and back again.

I also wasn’t descending fast enough in the descent. That was because I hadn’t pulled the throttle back to 1500 rpm. Since I was staring down at the tachometer the whole time, I was more gradual in bringing it back, whereas if I had been looking outside, I would have just pulled it out and kept my focus outside. Next time..

The landing was a bit windy. The base leg didn’t really exist because the wind had pushed us of course. So, the turn was tighter and we ended up a little high. But in the end, we still got it on the ground.

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.4

Slips and More Stalls

I have a video today! It’s short, but here’s the plane and the ramp.

No wind today. We were supposed to do ground reference maneuvers, but there wasn’t any wind. So, we did some more stalls, both power on and power off. The power-on stall was a bit shaky, I had trouble keeping the wings level and the ball centered and the plane just wouldn’t stall even after pulling back as hard as I could. I think the trim was working against me.

We had the spin discussion. Spins happen when you’re in an uncoordinated stall. Typically happens when the pilot overshoots the runway centerline from base to final. He adds extra bank, pulls back, and once he adds the opposite rudder to get back, it stalls the high wing. That’s not good.

We practiced an emergency landing. Established a glide at 65, picked out somewhere to land, and went through an extended LCGUMPS checklist. Light, Cut-off in, Gas on both, Undercarriage, Mixture full-rich… and if the engine is windmilling and the mixture in doesn’t get it going again, we turn on the auxiliary fuel pump to get more fuel to the engine. If that doesn’t work, we secure the engine and hopefully have a landing spot picked out, which we did. We did an approach to a grass field and a go-around.

We were near Sussex airport at the time, so we practiced a slip landing. We established ourselves high on final, banked right and added left rudder. That brought us down quickly. Did a touch and go. We headed back to Caldwell and did another slip to land.

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW->FWN
To: CDW
Duration: 1.4

Stalls

We did stalls today, both power-on and power-off stall. That started with some clearing turns to check for traffic.

The plane was running away to the right a bit on the power-off stalls, but I got the hang of it and kept it going straight ahead by the end.

The power-on stalls were a little counter intuitive. To set up for one, we pulled the power out to slow down. Around 60 knots, we opened the throttle and pitched 15 degrees. Weee… When the stall broke we pitched ¬†down briefly and re-established a climb as the airspeed increased.

On the way back, we took a look at the sectional map to coordinate with some landmarks. We drew a line back to Caldwell and followed the lakes home. We entered a right base for runway 22 and the landing was not too shabby.

Plane: N272LP (C172)
From: CDW
To: CDW
Duration: 1.5