Sunday, February 19, 2017

Flying Lesson #101 - It's The Archer Not The Arrow

In this case a Pa-28-181 Archer II to be exact.

My first flying Lesson at DCT.

I got there and after a short wait met up with Ray and went off to preflight N1896H. It's a bit ironic or satisfying, take your pick, that Lesson #101 is not with Flight 101.

Anyways the preflight on an Archer is pretty similar to that of a Skyhawk with a few little differences, as is starting the plane due to the fuel pump and some other minor differences, including how you hold the throttle.

The manually controlled flaps were quite interesting to use and takeoff is done with 10 degrees of flaps.

The Archer feels more stable than a 172 and with a 180HP engine was a bit more powerful than the 150 HP powered 172.

I handled the radios and takeoff with no issues and I flew us to the practice area. Once there we did slow flight, power off and power on stalls and steep turns. The steep turns felt weird because the sight picture is very different from a 172. Strangely enough my left steep turn was excellent complete with hitting my wake completing the circle. For some reason the right looked very weird and after going 3/4 of the way around I started descending a bit in the turn which was really strange and likely due to the different look and feel of the plane. I also had to switch tanks during the flight, something the gravity fed 172 doesn't require.

Then we did turns around a point and this is where a high wing really outshines the low wing - the Archer's low wing kept trying to cover the point which was a major PITA when trying to do the maneuver. Definitely a few nuances to get absorbed - including the flow method they have for all their operations - it makes a lot of sense but needs to be learned and ingrained.

Then we headed back to Pontiac with the sun in our eyes all the way to final. I took her in for landing and it wasn't bad for being practically unable to see the runway in the sun - landings will take some work but I kinda knew that already.

Overall the assessment from the instructor is I know what I'm doing, I just need some polishing of my maneuvers to get them up to ACS standards (then again I've been hearing that since August...), then get checked out and signed off to solo the Archer and then get checked again before the checkride. Next lesson will likely be some pattern work. We'll see how many steps back I need to take before I get to go forward.

1.6 and 1 landing.


Murphy's Law said...

Good deal indeed.

drjim said...

All I ever flew were Cessnas, so I'm sure the low wing would take some getting used to.

Did you notice any "ground effect" before she settled down on the gear?

Comrade Misfit said...

That extra 30HP makes a bit of difference.

Aaron said...

ML: Yep, the planes are maintained much, much better -(no metal parts are flaking off the interior...).

drjim: Yep, the low wing is going to take a bit of getting used to but it felt really stable and responsive. Didn't really feel the ground effect too much different from the 172, will be doing a lot more landings next lesson and should have a better evaluation then.

Comrade Misfit - It does indeed, the plane certainly felt quite smooth and wanting to fly.