Sunday, November 22, 2015

Flying Lesson #24 - Landing In A Winter Wonderland

I got my first experience flying in winter today.

The storm last night dropped in 10+ inches of global warming.

This made for some fun, including taxiing on ice.

Happily, they had moved N757MK into the hanger and cleaned the snow off of it before I got there this morning.

I pre-flighted it in the hanger and it was then moved outside.

Unfortunately it had no usable fuel in the right tank and about 8 gallons in the left. That's not enough. The fueling trucks were actually stuck at the fueling depot by the snow.

So we started MK up and I got a taxi clearance to the fuel depot. We then were asked to go past and turn back so a plow could come through and clear the way into the depot for us, and we were happy to oblige as we would not have been able to get through the ridge from the taxiway to the depot without it being cleared.

We got in, got the fuel and then the engine wouldn't start. Finally we got it working and then the heading indicator decided it liked to spin around. Since its not required equipment as we had a compass we went flying. Funnily enough it stopped spinning after we were airborne and righted itself.

Only Runway 27L, which I had never used before, was open, and winds were 10-15 knots from 250-300 shifting.

I got to do some fun patterns today. It was busy as only one runway was in service, so the controller had his hands full with spacing and at times we were asked to expedite turning crosswind, extend our downwind, or tighten and shorten our base, and on one occasion to do a go-round so he could clear some traffic just after we had turned base.

We did both right and left patterns.

As usual my cross-wind takeoffs were really nice.

As to landing, I'm starting to get a bit more stable in my approaches, but now that I sorta have that I'm now not flaring enough. Actually, I flare enough to float up but then not enough at the point of landing itself so I'm landing flat. When asked, Sean has said I shouldn't be frustrated as I'm getting there and just need to put it all together.

I swear I should just yell "Banzai!" on my next final.

That's 1.5 more hours, 7 landings and one go-round more.


Home on the Range said...

Those were fun days. From the "been there DON'T do that" school of Brigid flying - do NOT remove the frost of the airplane with a Journey Cassette tape - it doesn't get the clean wing you want :-)

juvat said...

Contrary to popular belief, the "banzai" landing is only desired in aerospacial training aids clearly marked "Navy". Real pilots treat their aircraft with respect introducing them to the runway on return with gentleness and courtesy in the hope that the aircraft will again be usable without numerous and expensive repairs.

Aaron said...

Brigid: But did it get you started on your journey?

juvat: True enough in the case of courteous aircraft where courtesy received is given in kind, but I think I may need to give one of the planes that like to float up a beat-down to show it who's the boss and pour encourager les autres. :-)

Murphy's Law said...

Insert voice of Chevy Chase: "Be the plane, Aaron. Be the plane."

You can't approach it like the Rain Man on espresso. Just relax and fly the plane and it will all come together.