Thursday, August 04, 2016

Flying Lesson #67 - Back In The Cockpit Again

After a couple weeks of not flying I was a little leery of seeing how badly my skills had dropped off and how many steps back I would be taking.

The plane had just been brought back by another student so I called for fuel as it was quite low and did the preflight carefully by the checklist as I always do, and no problems presented themselves.

Ray arrived and I started the plane up, got permission from the tower to taxi and did an excellent job of taxiing all the way down to Runway 9L.

A goo run up and I did an excellent takeoff with the tower calling the turn to the north due to traffic.

After we were clear of KPTK's Delta airspace plus a few more miles for safety, I did a clearing turn and then it was maneuvering time.

My steep turns were excellent, I didn't lose any altitude, maintained the airspeed, and rolled right out on the original heading and hit my wake. ThenI did the turn in the opposite direction with the same result. Ray was impressed. Yay me.

Then it was time for minimum controllable airspeed - we did it under the new ACS rules, which is to keep the stall horn from blaring at all, which is quite different than the old PTS standards. I did it with no issues.

Then it was power off stall time. On my first try I could not get the airplane to break even with full back-pressure - the airplane was essentially practically stalled and losing altitude but had no pronounced break nor any indication that it was not still flying. Apparently I was too gentle and smooth with the backpressure and need to be more forcefull at the start to get the angle of attack up to cause the full stall. Recovery was no problem - full power, ease off the backpressure and start taking the flaps out as the airspeed comes up, get a positive rate of climb going and climb away from the "ground".

So Ray demonstrated it with a more abrupt angle of attack to get a clean break for the stall, and I did it again and got the break, and I lost less than 200 feet in the recovery. I then asked to do it again to make sure I had it down and again had a good stall, break and recovery well within test standards.

Then we headed back, and being cleared by the Tower to enter the downwind, I did a good pattern entry and a very nice landing, and the tower instructed us to stay on the runway and roll all the way to the end by where the flight school is, which was quite nice of them. Then I did the short taxi back and parked the plane perfectly, shut it down and all was well.

This was very happy-making.

Ray figures I'm getting darn close to testing.

An excellent 1.3 hour lesson.


Harry Flashman said...

I got my single engine land license in 1973. Sounds like it has changed a bit since then.

Aaron said...

Yes, the ACS test standards that just became effective for testing the past few months have made quite a few changes. MCA is one of the most marked - instead of flying with the stall horn blaring as I and everyone else was training to do, now if the stall horn goes off in MCA under the new standards it's considered unsatisfactory.

Harry Flashman said...

Have you done spins yet? I never cared for it. Spinning the T-28 was the worst. Some people enjoyed that kind of thing, but I was never one of them.

Aaron said...

No spins yet. That may happen tomorrow (hope along with me for some high ceilings please, and if so good blogging fodder will follow).

The Flight School doesn't like its instructors spinning their 172s - apparently the plane really needs to be forced to spin and the entry into the first full spin rotation involves the airplane flipping over on its back and it's a bit exciting, but quite recoverable assuming you've got the altitude to recover it.

What was the trouble with spinning the T-28?