Yesterday at noon the weather was far to nice to eat lunch indoors. So I called and Ray and a plane was available and I got a lesson in.
We flew up to Lapeer (D95) to practice some short field landings.
Flight there was good, winds were light and it was nice and clear out.
So I needed to work on short field landings and that's what we worked on.
The first landing was sucky, came in too high and when landing landed long and overshot the mark beyond acceptable parameters. Half the fun is figuring out where is the "mark" exactly, not to mention the aiming point for it. It looks a helluva lot easier in books and in online videos to figure this out.
Also dropping to 40 degrees of flaps makes the plane drop very nicely, and this is moreso when you cut the power the nose drops pretty quickly so you need to rotate and cut the power at the same time once you hit your aiming point and then drift over to your mark.
The next few were ok, and maybe I'm being too hard on myself but I'm clearly not getting it. I'm certainly more comfortable flying now but this particular maneuver is not working.
We then came back to Pontiac and I did a decent but not great short field landing. However I think at this stage I shouldn't need coaching to do it and I still need that apparently.
In other news, Ray has been invited to apply at Endeavor Airlines, the feeder airline for Delta (For which I have no doubt he'll do a darn good job) so I'll likely be out another instructor shortly. He does say "I'm close" but that's been said for awhile now so it'll be fun to see if I test before or after he gets called up to the airlines. On reflection I sure as heck don't feel ready now. I can fly fine, land fine enough for normal circumstances and in reasonable crosswinds and for soft fields, but that likely won't meet the check-ride standards especially the no flap slip and short field landings, not to mention the emergency landing procedure is now rusty as is the power on stall while turning.....
For now I'd say my knowledge for the oral exam portion of the test is there, but how long it will all stay in there (it's closed book so it all must be memorized and ready to be spit back no matter how fargin' useless some of the knowledge is to actual real world flying or that in real life you can actually open the frickin' book and have the answer right there) and how long I'm going to keep reviewing it is getting in question.
So do I switch to Crosswinds and pay the lots extra and learn the G1000 setup? Downside is it will mean adding even more time and lots more travel time, probably dropping my flying lesson schedule to once a week and with weather will mean I'll be flying less than once a week. Also spending an hour driving to the field to find out the lesson is cancelled will suck. Do I stick with doing a bit at both?
Or do I just finish at Flight 101?
Do I say screw it and take the winter off as driving an hour each way to Crosswinds in the winter will suck and instead take the time to replenish the bank account and try again in the spring? Of course, by then I'll need a new medical and I think one of the new student pilots cert as mine is tied to the medical, and if we wait long enough and get to October 2017, I can do the written test again - Oh Joy!
In a few more hours, and if I can learn a chandelle and a few figure eights, I can skip the private rating and jump right to the Commercial pilot cert, right guys?
To say I haven't a frickin' clue how to proceed with this and getting kinda disenchanted with the whole deal would be an understatement.