For lunch I dropped by Flight 101 for a lesson. I had it scheduled with Ray as going to Crosswinds during the week is pretty much out and I still have money on my account there I want to burn through.
It turns out that Ray isn't there and I've got a new instructor for the day, Bob. This is a bit surprising as its an unannounced change.
New to Flight 101 but with 2,000 hours to his log book, while he's another younger fellow, but he's been instructing at another school and just started two days ago with Flight 101. So we head out to the plane and I get it preflighted while he scrapes off a good layer of frost from it. So we talk about where I am in the process and what I feel I need to improve on, then he has me start it up and we head out to the runway. And I handle the entire process.
First takeoff he wants me to hold it in ground effect as the speed builds up just in case there's any frost left on it causing problems....no problems and we get a good takeoff in.
Performance in the cold air is excellent and I'm hitting pattern altitude while turning crosswind from upwind. Then he has me do a couple regular landings which were decent with a bit of fun thrown in from the tower - first having us do an extended downwind after I've already start to turn base, which throws things off a bit. On the next landing on quite short final they have me sidestep to 27L as they've just had a plane cleared to takeoff from 27R after clearing me to land and I'm approaching with a plane in front of my windshield and I'm preparing to do a go round before they call for the sidestep. So I sidestep and land just fine on 27L. Overall not my best two landings but not bad and I did them all by my happy self.
Then we move on to short fields. Bob has me try one first and then we analyze and go over what needs to be worked on. While the setup and landing wasn't bad s far as landings go, it wasn't within standards for a short field and I was a tad too high and fast on final and as usual my aiming point was not right.
Bob demonstrates one and then I do some more and get better with each one. He has a different approach to it and it helps quite a bit in terms of focus on the aiming point and how to do the landing by setting the trim to set the pitch and feel to exactly make it all just so that when you think you need to push you just reduce power and when you think you would need to pull on the yoke you would add power without changing the pitch attitude to keep the airspeed locked in.
This was extremely helpful.
My final two short fields, I'm on target and stopped on 27R before taxiway Whiskey and able to turn off on it to turn back to the numbers and takeoff again.
By the end of the lesson I've got this pretty much down and have a ton more confidence in my short fields and can actually do them.
He also has me do a short field takeoff that I ace (my short field takeoffs have always been good), even though the runway is a tad slick and the right brake is feeling kinda soft while holding the plane in place at full power.
Maybe a different perspective is all that is needed and we can get this thing done finally.
That's 8 landings and 1.5.