Lesson 29: Loosening the grip | 03/23/16

Today I went up with Tom again and we flew northward to practice keeping a looser grip on the controls while doing maneuvers.   First we did slow flight.   I reduced power, then put down full flaps incrementally while keeping 50 mph and 2500 feet.   We then did power off stalls which went pretty smoothly and then power on stalls.   We reduced power to 60 mph with no flaps and then went full throttle and raised the nose as if we were taking off (a power on stall would most likely occur during takeoff).   I tried to keep the plane coordinated as I raised the nose however for many of the stalls it ended up being a turning stall which can turn into a spin if the recovery isn’t good.   I have to say it was harder to keep a loose grip when doing such an unnatural maneuver – I guess that’s a good thing though because if the plane tended to stall itself it would probably not have the highest safety rating.   We then did steep turns which were OK and then did a rapid descent to get bak down to 3500 feet.   After that we headed back and I completely messed up on the navigation.   I saw an airport but for some reason left it without even knowing wich one it was.   I should have stayed there until I found it’s location and then followed a heading bak to caldwell.   Once I left the airplanewas untrimmed and I descended down to 2000 while trying to find my position with VORs (I must have put in the wrong frequency because the position it was giving was nowhere near the general area where we knew we were).   I gave up on that since the position it yielded didn’t make sense and Tom then intervened and helped me back to Caldwell.   I think I need a little bit of a refresher in the sim with navigation.   What I should have done was first look for vidual landmarks (like an airport/lake/road) and found it on the terminal chart and, if that didn’t work, I should have circled (so my position didn’t change) while using another VOR to get an accurate position, then I should have drawn a line from that position to caldwell, flown that heading and set a VOR radial that would center once I was 10 miles from Caldwell so I would know when to give them a call.   The landing at Caldwell was also pretty bad;   I landed on the nosewheel and then bounced back into the air only to finallyout it down right of the centerline.   This showed me how important it is to keep the right airspeed; if you are too fast you will push the nose down so you don’t climb and land in a nose-low attitude with too much airspeed.   I have some time to reflect on my mistakes though – I am visiting my cousins in Seattle for Easter.