Saturday, September 24, 2016

Flying Lesson #78 - Pattern Practice

So this morning I arrive at the airport ready to go.

The plane I'm booked on, N73455, however is not. Apparently a renter has it out and should have been back by or before 9 and they're late.

On top of that, another renter walks in and tells Ray that he just managed to drop the fuel stick into the left tank of N755PR and he can't get it out. This takes some talent to drop one of the fuel measuring sticks into the tank, you almost have to shove them in diagonally to do so.

Thus the other available plane is no longer available and not flyable with a fuel straw somewhere in a fuel tank.

So we wait for N73455 to get back and it finally does, about 20 minutes late. I have to call for fuel as it's very low, so the pre-flight is done and we wait for the fuel truck. No time to go to another airport now, so we'll have to stick around the pattern.

Then we do the preflight and do the nice long taxi to Runway 9L.

Good takeoff and with a light crosswind we're on our way with left hand traffic.

First we do some soft field landing and I do those ok, with the final one quite good.

Then on to the short field landings with having the first blocks as the simulated end of the runway, which for some reason always messes me up in terms of aiming points and what not. On the first one, not terrible and it works out ok but a lot of sudden crosswind just before landing to make it extra fun and kills the float in to landing, so just some things to work on.

On the second one, I'm all setup and everything is looking good. So of course the tower then just as I'm about to turn base has us not turn base but continue downwind. So we fly out a good distance and have to reestablish everything and then do the short landing which is ok but not great.

Heading for the third short field landing it gets a bit more exciting. The pattern is getting quite busy indeed lots of Cessnas and Pipers flying to and fro and there's a twin about to land ahead of us.

We're on final and suddenly there's a radio call from another plane:

"Tower the twin is about to land has his gear up!"

Tower immediately yells out "Cessna go around!", and since he's not specific and we're on final as well, we, and all the Cessna aircraft in the landing sequence of the pattern, including those behind us set for a go around. After all, he likely meant just the Cessna about to do a belly up landing, but he may have been properly waving off everybody to prevent problems had the twin decided to scrape along the runway.

Luckily, the twin does in fact clue in to the fact that he missed a rather important step in the landing sequence, and he went go around and does not create any more excitement. So yes, that was a rather interesting.

Back around we go and do a not so great short field as the wind kicks up and its not particularly great, need to do better.

We end it there as the pattern is getting a little bit crazy at this point and that was that. So yes, I still have lots to work on. Some things are getting better and I'm maybe starting to figure out the issues I'm having with the short field landings. Overall, not a bad lesson but certainly interesting for the challenges and unexpected pattern happenings.

That's 1.0 and 6 landings.


Old NFO said...

Somebody saved that twin driver a LOT of money! Kudos to him. And if it's a non-specific call, you go around too!

Murphy's Law said...

I heard someone call a go-around a couple years back on the CTAF for uncontrolled airports all across Northern VA, MD WV, etc. Same deal: "Aircraft on final...GO AROUND!" No airport identifier or runway given but I imagined dozens of aircraft for hundreds of miles aborting approaches all at one time. Heck--I looked all around and I wasn't anywhere near an airport.

Aaron said...

Old NFO: It was both non specific and rather excited so go around we and everyone else did.

ML: Yep, it'll grab you're attention that's for sure.