I haven’t blogged in a while so this is a bit of a catchup post. I guess I should start by explaining my slowdown with flying. A couple months ago Bob Smetana, my flight instructor, accepted an offer from a regional airline and left for commercial training. After he left I had winter break and was away for a while. Finally a few weeks ago I started back up again and started to try to find a new instructor. I took a lesson with Dave Pavoni as my first lesson in a while and it was apparent that he’s very knowledgeable. I learned how to make a better steep turn, to lean the mixture on cruise, and to keep my eyes outside of the cockpit more while flying VFR. We did the standard introductory flight (altitude hold, stalls, slow flight, steep turns, etc). On my next lesson I tried a flight with Tom Fischer. His experience and knowledge of not only the official flight training material but of information that allows for a deeper understanding of aviation concepts was astounding. Whenever he taught me something he wouldn’t only tell me what I needed to know but why it was true. I picked up a huge amount of helpful tips in just one lesson. I learned to check the tops of the ailerons as well as the bottoms in the preflight, to check the counterweights in the ailerons, and to watch the wheels to see if they are letting out brake fluid when checking the brakes. On start up I learned not to pump the throttle so as to not flood the engine and if I do to let it sit a while to let the fuel exit the cylinders. After takeoff we practiced slow flight stalls and steep turns and towards the end we had climbed up to around 5000 feet so we did a rapid descent to get down to 3000 (a maneuver I’ve never done before). Tom then told me to navigate back to Caldwell and I used VORs and my sectional chart to get my bearings and start flying towards Caldwell. The controller gave us a 5 mile final and we flew the 5 mile approach for the only landing of the day. Having experiened both flight instructors I have only good things to say about both – they’re both great teachers and highly experienced – but I will probably go with Tom. I’m probably going up this coming weekend so I’ll try and get a GPS track to post.