Sunday, February 26, 2017

Flying Lesson # 103 - I'm Doing This, Why?

It's a beautiful sunny day out and while the ceiling was dropping when I got to the airport for my 3pm lesson it was still at 3,000 feet would be excellent for flying, except for the winds. The winds were gusting from 13-23 out of 200, making for a crosswind factor of between 12.2 and 21.6...The Archer's crosswind rating is 17.

Of course, the instruments except for the altimeter were all covered yet again. I did the preflight inspection by myself just fine, then the engine start and verily it would not start for some undetermined reason. So we had to change planes. That should have been what we call a clue.

So I switched to N5337F, another Archer II set up the same way so it was easy enough to slide in (the one door on the Archer is a bit of a pain). Startup was fine, and I then taxi'd the plane to the run-up area, did a good run-up and got permission to takeoff. With quite the crosswind correction in, I took off and basically flew semi-sideways along to stay in line with the runway. Lack of instruments was rather annoying when having to deal with the crosswind as I was getting concerned about being cross-controlled and not coordinated in flight. While I understand why they insist on non instruments at this stage of their program I'm still allowed to be annoyed by it. Especially so as you're supposed to add half the gust factor to your airspeed, which is pretty hard when you cannot see your airspeed indicator. So we climbed and I turned crosswind, then downwind. Thence for the difference in procedures with the Archer over the 172 - there's a lot that happens at midfield that isn't done in the Cessna until you're parallel the touchdown point of the runway - carb heat, landing lights, power reduction and first 10 degrees of flaps.

Then at the touchdown point you reduce the throttle just a bit, angle down and begin a slight descent, then turn base once you reach that point and put in the second notch of flaps and then turn final and land with quite a crab until close to touchdown when you transition to a sideslip and down to the runway you go.

I did two landings and while it wasn't feeling great I was doing ok.

Then on for the third landing we had to do a go round as the plane before us was still on the runway.

And in the go round some wind shear got us really nicely once we were past all usable runway but below 500 feet and I was feeling completely out of control to the point where not only was the plane at full throttle not responding to what I was doing, but I told the instructor I was losing it. So he took it over and we were then fine after a bit of time that felt longer than it probably was. He then brought it around the pattern for landing #3 and did it just beautifully, and that was it.

On the upside, I apparently handle the radio like a boss, so there's that.

Yet more steps backwards and not particularly happy-making.

.6 and 3 landings.

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