Sunday, June 12, 2016

Flying Lesson #56 - Rough At Romeo

You know some days where everything works, you're performing at the top of your game, and you think you're making great progress and only have a bit to go to reach your next goal?

Today was NOT one of those days.

Today the lesson started at 0800 and we had really gusting winds of about 15 knots plus out of 340 degrees, so it was pretty much direct crosswind on Runway 27.

We decided to fly to Romeo for an uncontrolled airport because the radios on N757MK were acting up yesterday. Today they worked fine, but it was a good opportunity to get a different sight picture in and fly somewhere else for a change.

So I flew us east to Romeo at 3,500 feet and it was bumpy as all get out with lots of fun sheering winds and gusts and holding the airplane on course.

Then I overflew the field and the wind was pretty much down runway 36 at Romeo. Not the best pattern and a little high as usual. Setup for a landing and had gusts throwing me all about on final and a nice sudden wind change that first required a lot of power and then requiring left rudder and I didn't do nearly enough flare or enough crosswind correction. Not good at all.

We figure out a bit of my too high problem and Ray has me focus on airspeed over everything - 85 on Downwind, 75 on base, 65 on final. This is good because my current bad habit on the pattern is to come in too high and fast.

I'm still way too heavy on the controls and too tense so it's still not going where I need it to go. I'm apparently also bulldogging it on the flare and not adjusting enough. Landings are there but not where they should be and the first one thoroughly sucked. The rest got better as we went on with some that were ok but I've done better.

Back to KPTK, winds were 15 knots at 340 so and almost perfectly perpendicular crosswind to the runway. What fun.

I get to enter on the base and get setup for final and of course I then expecting a crosswind put in too much crosswind correction when darn little was actually needed. This was weird but the buildings apparently blocked this particular wind today. So not enough before, too much later and I can't win for losing this lesson. Decent enough flare though.

Primary diagnosis - I'm over thinking this way too much. Secondary: I'm not looking enough down the runway and not adjusting and increasing the flare and keeping the plane off as long as possible.

9 landings, 1.6 hours and a thoroughly bruised ego and frustrated with taking a few steps back yet again. Argh.


Old NFO said...

It's called learning... And overthinking will stop eventually... Once the 'muscle memory' starts being ingrained...

Murphy's Law said...

Like I keep telling you...stop thinking and just fly the plane. You'll get there.

Comrade Misfit said...

Yeah, thinking about the technical stuff and flying don't mix. Sort of what Yogi Berra said about hitting. You'll get to where you do and not think much about it.

No yanking or stomping, either. Apply pressure to the controls, don't force them.

(Bet a few hours in a J-3 or an Aeronca would do you wonders.)

Aaron said...

OldNFO: Yep, I'll keep at it.

Murph: Working on it.

CM: I'm taking a Diamond DA40 out for a trip next due to aircraft availability so it should be interesting as it apparently acts quite a bit differently.