Saturday, February 04, 2017

Flying Lesson #98 - Flying After A Long Wait

This morning was a beautiful one. There was a yellow ball in the sky that had been conspicuous by its absence for the past few weeks and one could actually see blue clear sky as far as one looked.

Winds were calm and started to increase as the flight went on, settling at 8 knots from 230-270 when we landed.

In short, time to fly again, finally. It had been almost a month since my last flight as mainly weather (including winds beyond my permissible limits whenever I tried to book a solo flight - hell I haven't flown solo since June) but also airplane maintenance issues whenever the weather was reasonable thwarted my leaving the surly bonds of earth. In short I had more cancelled lessons in January than actual lessons by about a 12-1 ratio.

So the preflight was fun, with frost covering yon trusty (ha! ha!) aircraft. Fuel had not been topped off but since we were at 10 in the right and 14 gallons in the left tank it was sufficient. I did have to add oil as well and scraped off ice and frost from the wings and stabilizer.

The plane started up impressively well and we headed out on ice-covered taxiways to get to the run up area. Of course at the run up area I found the left brake was extremely soft but the heck with it, we were going.

It was quite already busy at 9:15 am this morning as the nice weather had brought everyone and their aircraft out. We initially were set for 27R but then told to go to 27L to takeoff, so we went across the completely iced over taxiway between the two runways and took off from 27L and headed out until cleared to turn right toward the northeast.

Cabin heat was just about non-existent so it was about 0 degrees in the plane and -15 outside at 3,500 feet. But for all that it was good to get up and fly again. Much of the fun of it has gone and its mainly stubbornness keeping me going at this point, but whatever.

After getting to the practice area I did slow flight without a problem, a couple power off stalls, a power on stall, steep turns and turns around a point. The stalls were good but Bob showed me how to make the recovery smoother and we worked on the steep turns. The steep turns needed a bit of work which sucks as they used to be my best maneuver, but everything else is within tolerances. Again, I need to look outside more and I think he's going to cover the panel on the next flight, which is evil but probably necessary at this juncture. I'm still working on getting the right outside sight picture but it is coming along.

Landing was ok, but Bob was a bit surprised and annoyed at what previous instructors had been teaching me on landings so likely next lessons will be on landings which would be good as given the time passing I'm sure I will suck at them yet again as we haven't practiced them.

Bob did also ask a rather surprising question when the lesson ended that showed he is not just a good instructor but a great one.

I figure that I am going to interview a couple flight schools that are on the filed at KPTK as Howell is just too darn far. One is an all-Piper shop which will mean familiarizing myself with a low wing plane and another is a smaller one with Cessnas but either way it will likely mean going around in circles yet again. Of course, this is after I get a really good instructor so I'm rather torn and frustrated by the whole thing and rather undecided.

That's 1.2 and 1 landing.


Murphy's Law said...

The Pipers are nothing to sweat. They float more on landing and you have a mechanical flap instead of the electric one but that's about it. Your rating is for "Single-engine land" aircraft, so you can fly either...or a freaking Beech or Mooney. Don't limit yourself.

Aaron said...

I know that. But, the plan was to get checked out in one after getting the damn cert, not having to further delay getting it while learning a new checklist, Vspeeds, new instructor, etc

jon spencer said...

From a few years ago, here is a touch and go with a friends Piper Saratoga. This was at K.I. Sawyer, when you have a little over 12,000 feet of runway it takes awhile.

Aaron said...

jon: Nice footage! You can practically do two touch-n-goes in a row on that runway in a single pass.