Pre-Solo Stage Check Day!

Hello -

Today I went up with CFI Dave Pavoni for my Pre-Solo Stage Check.  Of all days, to this we had 31010G17 along with low level wind shear alerts from the ATIS.   I successfully pre-flighted and started the taxi to 28.  We departed 28 with appropriate crosswind correction but did not keep the correction in long enough during the takeoff given the intensity of it.  We headed out to 330 to go through maneuvers.

We did Slow Flight, Power On/Off Stalls, S-Turns, and Emergency Procedures.  Stalls were good as were S-Turns.  Slow flight was especially challenging today given the wind conditions even at 4500ft.  Dave gave me a target of 65KTS and I was able to hit but had a hard time keeping it.  We did minor turns right and left.

I need to practice Emergency Procedures.  I was able to talk through them but my ability to hit 65 best glide was hard.  I picked a field to our west and headed for it – it was the right general area to pick.  However, Dave said even if you have your landing spot picked you must continue the glide to 65 to give you and passengers maximum time to set up.  Instead of gliding straight to a point Dave spiraled me down into a better spot INTO the wind.  This is an area I will need practice in.

He then said “take me back home”.  I was able to successfully navigate us past Greenwood Lake Airport and to Lincoln Park airport.  We were instructed for a left downwind to RWY 4 in #2 sequence.  As we started the descent from 2500 to 1200 the winds really picked up to G19 so there was constant pitch power work.  I brought the plane in on final with a heavy crab in.  As gusts started to increase on the ground the very final piece needed some help from Dave.

We went in and reviewed the flight.  Slow flight needed some work but emergency procedures needed the most.  Dave said on a few occasions during post-flight “given the conditions you had the option to give me the controls but you didn’t and that’s good.”  I need to also work on better power management.  Tom asked him how I did.  Dave said “if he could fly the way in calm conditions like he did today, we’re all set.”  That was a nice way to top it off.  I couldn’t tell if today was confidence builder or breaker – I can’t say enough how hard it was to fly today with all the factors – new CFI, stage check, harsh weather but I’m excited to solo around the pattern!

Thanks to all the awesomeness called Fischer Aviation for bringing me to this point.

- Sanjay