Thursday, September 03, 2015

Flying Lesson #7 - Happy Landings!

So to the airfield I went for my next lesson.

I was back to N73455 (following Old NFO's and Juvat's advice)and I pre-flighted her and all looked good.

I had a new instructor today as the flight school likes to have us try a few instructors to see what clicks. So I met Will for the first time, who is a new CFI there. He reviewed my log book and we set forth the plan for the lesson. A very nice guy, lots of enthusiasm, and a very nice teaching manner.

Today was landing day and it was my first time to experience the pattern as before the tower always had us go straight in on landings.

"Traffic patterns depicted in FAA-H-8083-25" by Federal Aviation Administration - Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons"

Ground cleared us to taxi to Runway 27R, and my taxiing was very good today, with both brakes a'workin. Will was quite impressed at how smooth I was at it for only having 6 lessons in. I was quite happy myself. I certainly felt more comfortable taxiing.

After the runup I called the tower for permission to depart for pattern work. The tower approved with a right hand pattern as runway 27L was getting all sorts of busy, I mean seriously busy with all sorts of jets landing and taking off. I confirmed and started rolling. Airspeed alive, rotation speed, and rotate!

Just like taxiing, my takeoff was apparently really nice as Will complimented me on it, this was happy-making. Everything was feeling really good this lesson.

First I flew the pattern with Will talking me through, pointing out landmarks for the turns, and the procedures as he did them - what altitude, what degree of bank for the turns, what speed, flap setting, when carb heat goes on and so on at each point. He did the first landing.

We came to a full stop, taxied on back to the start of the runway with me doing the taxi, and then got clearance to do it again and I did the takeoff.

This time I did the pattern and the carb heat, flap settings and pitch angle with Will adjusting the throttle. I lined her up on the runway and Will landed with me shadowing him on the controls to get a feel for it.

Another taxi, and we were off again. Lots of takeoff practice today. Now I did it all with Will shadowing me on the controls and I brought it in for a landing!

We did it again, and again, each time with me doing more of it and Will doing less until I was landing on my own as he talked me through it. Each time as we progressed I would be telling him more and him telling me less on the pattern and then on to final, where he still did a lot of coaching and I surely needed it.

Then we started some touch and goes, which are fun as heck. Do the pattern, do the landing, then keep it moving, get the carb heat off, flaps up, throttle smoothly all the way open and then watch the speed build and rotate.

Then the last landing of the lesson - I did it all, having a darn good landing except for a sudden crosswind that made it a bit bumpy.

10 Takeoffs and 10 Landings, with 6 to a full stop and 4 touch and goes.

1.4 more flying hours, a now full first logbook page, and an absolutely awesome lesson in the books!


Murphy's Law said...

Practice this perishable skill as often as you can, and remember: All takeoffs are optional, but all landings are mandatory.

Now go find a grass strip and tell your instructor that you want to go there your next time out.

Aaron said...

Yes indeed. I think for the next few lessons, I and the pattern will become very familiar and it'll be like that until I have landings down cold, that's a good thing.

I'm sure we'll get a grass strip in there at some point.

juvat said...

I'm not sure you ever get the landings down cold. You may have the procedures down cold, but, in my experience, Murphy (the figurative one) is just waiting outside of sight to spring something unexpected.
But, remember, any landing you can walk away from is a good one. Any one the airplane can fly after is an excellent one, and any one you don't have to pay a maintenance bill after is an outstanding one.

Murphy's Law said...

What Juvat said. Once you start treating the landings like no big deal because you've been doing them for a while, that's when the gremlins kick you in the junk. Remember, you're only at risk for crashing when you're close to the ground or other aircraft. Coincidentally, most airports have a surplus of both.

Aaron said...

juvat: Yep, let's say I'm trying to develop the experience and practices to make consistently outstanding landings.

ML: Yep, I've still got tons to learn, and to keep learning, that's for sure.