Sunday, November 27, 2016

P30 At 1450 And Range Trip

A badly needed range trip took place yesterday.

My cousin Matt came in to visit this weekend and I took him to the range. He only has experience (quite extensive experience) with his duty pistol, with which he is quite good, so he was interested to try out a variety of pistols and I was happy to oblige.

Together we ran another 150 rounds through the P30, making it to 1450 with absolutely zero malfunctions of any kind to date. The feed ramp is now covered in black gunk but it keeps on going.

He rally enjoyed shooting my M&P 22 Compact with the Gemtech suppressor. Mirabile Dictu, Walmart had some .22LR CCI standard velocity in stock (3 round box maximum purchase). The M&P and Gemtech loved it and ran very very quietly with no issues and it was much more accurate than the Remington Thunderbolt and quieter as well.

He liked it quite a bit.

I also had quite a few other pistols for him to try: The Inglis Hi-Power, The S&W Model 29-2, The S&W M&P 9, The Glock 17, the Glock 21, the PA-63 and the 1911 and the Mauser HSC out to shoot.

Lots of ammo was turned into noise and many a steel target dropped only to be reset and dropped again.

Then back to the house for an epic cleaning of the guns (all save the P30) and then a good diner of Thanksgiving leftovers and a binge-watching of Game of Thrones.

A darn good time.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Teenager Day

Not only is today Thanksgiving but is also a momentous day for Abby.

Abby turned 13 today. Yes, my house now contains a teenager. It's amazing how time flies.

We had a surprise party for her yesterday. When she came home form shopping with Tash, she was surprised by her friends popping out from the kitchen yelling "Happy Birthday!".

Then we took all seven kids to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them in 3D.

It's a darn fun movie and if you like the Harry Potter series, this one will fit right in as a prequel of sorts. Worth seeing and enjoying in 3D at the theater.

Then we came home and made homemade sushi (no raw fish though, just make your own rolls). The kids all enjoyed rolling their own dinner. Then dessert which was apple pie and ice cream.

After that, the kids had a sleepover in the family room and Abby woke up this morning to a Happy Birthday song and the traditional cherry cheesecake, and presents from her friends and family.

A great time was had by all.

Now we're cleaning up from the party and preparing for Thanksgiving.

May you all have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Cold Jett Blast

With the temperature dropping, Jett decided to have a long playtime with Rocky.

As usual they had lots of fun chasing each other all over. Jett is still faster and more maneuverable, while Rocky is like a dump truck that waits for Jett to stop and then leaps at him.

They had a great time while Casey, Rocky's owner, and I chatted and caught up with things going on and watched them play while having an adult beverage and trying to stay warm.

We'll know it is officially winter here when the beers Casey and I are drinking as the dog plays actually start to ice up in the bottles (yes this does happen).

The kids were concerned that he was getting cold when he was done and back inside so they gave him a hat. Jett accepted it rather stoically, at least for awhile.

A good dog indeed.

Flying Lesson #91 - Short Field Landings Suck

Yesterday at noon the weather was far to nice to eat lunch indoors. So I called and Ray and a plane was available and I got a lesson in.

We flew up to Lapeer (D95) to practice some short field landings.

Flight there was good, winds were light and it was nice and clear out.

So I needed to work on short field landings and that's what we worked on.

The first landing was sucky, came in too high and when landing landed long and overshot the mark beyond acceptable parameters. Half the fun is figuring out where is the "mark" exactly, not to mention the aiming point for it. It looks a helluva lot easier in books and in online videos to figure this out.

Also dropping to 40 degrees of flaps makes the plane drop very nicely, and this is moreso when you cut the power the nose drops pretty quickly so you need to rotate and cut the power at the same time once you hit your aiming point and then drift over to your mark.

The next few were ok, and maybe I'm being too hard on myself but I'm clearly not getting it. I'm certainly more comfortable flying now but this particular maneuver is not working.

We then came back to Pontiac and I did a decent but not great short field landing. However I think at this stage I shouldn't need coaching to do it and I still need that apparently.

In other news, Ray has been invited to apply at Endeavor Airlines, the feeder airline for Delta (For which I have no doubt he'll do a darn good job) so I'll likely be out another instructor shortly. He does say "I'm close" but that's been said for awhile now so it'll be fun to see if I test before or after he gets called up to the airlines. On reflection I sure as heck don't feel ready now. I can fly fine, land fine enough for normal circumstances and in reasonable crosswinds and for soft fields, but that likely won't meet the check-ride standards especially the no flap slip and short field landings, not to mention the emergency landing procedure is now rusty as is the power on stall while turning.....

For now I'd say my knowledge for the oral exam portion of the test is there, but how long it will all stay in there (it's closed book so it all must be memorized and ready to be spit back no matter how fargin' useless some of the knowledge is to actual real world flying or that in real life you can actually open the frickin' book and have the answer right there) and how long I'm going to keep reviewing it is getting in question.

So do I switch to Crosswinds and pay the lots extra and learn the G1000 setup? Downside is it will mean adding even more time and lots more travel time, probably dropping my flying lesson schedule to once a week and with weather will mean I'll be flying less than once a week. Also spending an hour driving to the field to find out the lesson is cancelled will suck. Do I stick with doing a bit at both?

Or do I just finish at Flight 101?

Do I say screw it and take the winter off as driving an hour each way to Crosswinds in the winter will suck and instead take the time to replenish the bank account and try again in the spring? Of course, by then I'll need a new medical and I think one of the new student pilots cert as mine is tied to the medical, and if we wait long enough and get to October 2017, I can do the written test again - Oh Joy!

In a few more hours, and if I can learn a chandelle and a few figure eights, I can skip the private rating and jump right to the Commercial pilot cert, right guys?

To say I haven't a frickin' clue how to proceed with this and getting kinda disenchanted with the whole deal would be an understatement.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lesson #90 - Real MCA Again And More Landings

I drove out to Crosswinds to get in another Lesson with Don.

After the preflight, moving the aircraft out of the hangar (hangars are nice in general and theirs is damn nice in particular containing many lovely aircraft, btw) and getting fuel we were ready to go. Starting up the Skyhawk SP is kinda different but it does start very nicely. That is once you have the startup sequence, which involves pulling the mixture control fully out at start and putting it in only after then engine catches - which is really counter-intuitive after flying a 172M, down and understood.

We departed to the northeast as Don wanted me to work on minimum controllable airspeed and controlling the plane at MCA.

Unlike the ACS standards, Don wanted the stall horn blaring. This threw me as for the test I've been trying to unlearn going to true MCA and instead to keep above the stall horn as required in the new ACS standards.

He was pretty demanding in regards to keeping the airplane right at the starting altitude, keeping it on heading or to the heading he wanted to go to and to keep it coordinated. In short I need to be a lot more aggressive with the rudder and be ready to feed in power as various air masses and gusts moved the plane up and down. I'll say it was harder than I thought it would be, I felt really off at the start and it took me awhile to "get it", but got better at it, and I learned a lot.

Then we did some landings and while most were good, two were sucky - one had a gust shift on final that I didn't respond to well enough so we did a go-round, which I am rather good at. We also had a sucky bouncer as we did come in a bit fast due to the gusts and at a setting of 20 degree flaps so I need to work on that too including bounce recovery. Overall a pretty good lesson, with a great takeaway that if you trim the plane perfectly on the downwind, you probably won't need to re-trim it on base or final.

After the lesson, Don and a CFI-candidate kindly let me sit in on a weather theory session for the CFI-candidate.

It was very helpful as Don really knows his stuff and it certainly bolstered an area for the oral exam that I'm not as strong in as I would like to be. I think I gained enough in that session combined with my prior study of it to weather that area of the oral exam with flying colors.

We then had a fun conversation with Don, the CFI-candidate and another CFI. It was interesting listening to their stories - the CFI-candidate is a former 82nd Airborne paratrooper and some of his drop stories are rather riveting, including the time they got mis-dropped into a Walmart parking lot in full combat drop regallia. The CFI recounted her chamber ride to find out her hypoxia symptoms which was pretty neat to hear - in short with hypoxia for her and she found out first she'll get a headache but then she'll feel real happy but be pretty much incapable of doing anything helpful right up to the point of going unconscious. Don also talked about his CFI checkride back in the day which was interesting to hear as well. Apparently its not very often that you can truthfully tell a DPE in a nice way that they suck at lazy eights.

Lots of laughs and useful informal learning from some very good CFIs and a CFI-candidate who I expect will become a great CFI.

That's another 1.2 and 5 landings

Of Temps And Tires

With the temperature dropping 40 degrees in a day over the weekend it was time to check the tire pressure.

Sure enough, the tires had all dropped to about 26 psi cold from their normal 30 psi. That's quite a drop.

So I went to fill them only to find our tire air compressor was broken and would compress no more. So, I ordered a EPAuto Air Compressor Pump from Amazon and it arrived yesterday.

It's both a lot smaller than my previous compressor and is if anything quicker, and the digital readout is both easy to read and to set for your tire pressure. It worked quite well and takes up very little space.

A cold air swing will likely reduce your tire pressure and it's a good idea to check them and make sure they're up to spec.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Picking Up Ice In The Run-Up Area....

Is nature's way of telling you you're not getting a flying lesson in this morning. The presence of ice forming on aircraft not rated for flying in known icing conditions does not mix, at all.

The day started reasonably nice with a wind from 15-25 along 270-250 degrees so practically down the runway - ok for a lesson but past my solo endorsement. It's clear, a bright day with a layer at about 3,000.

So a good pre-flight, start up, and a little rain starts to fall but everything is reported and still appears VFR with about a 3,000 foot ceiling, good enough for pattern work. We get to the run-up area and....

Hey, where did the end of the runway go?

We wait for a bit and Tower reports they've still got good visibility and then we notice that while it's raining a bit more, and we're getting some carburetor ice from the moisture in the air and then...the temperature visibly falls.

"We're now picking up ice".

"Yep. we're done"

So taxi on back and we let the Tower know about the icing conditions and the Tower announces they're going IFR, so we go inside for a ground lesson where I did quite well.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flying Lesson #90 - Gusting Winds Of November

Since I already had a lesson booked with Ray at Flight 101 I figured I'd go with it.

This would be a long lunch type lesson with some practicing for the checkride to come - maybe, eventually, someday, yeah.

Winds were gusting first around 8 knots at 200 then increasing to 12 knots at 200 then settling on around 1618 knots at 170 to 180. Lot of nasty rollers and other bits of fun.

I did 3 very good crosswind landings at KPTK and felt quite happy with myself. Ray seemed impressed as well. I guess that lesson with Don paid off.

Then we headed out to the northeast do some maneuvers and I hadn't done those in quite awhile.

Starting off with steep turns, which are a personal fave of mine now, I did them quite well.

Then on to the FAA's new definition of slow flight which does take some getting used to, and I did climbs, descents and turns in slow flight.

Then on to power off stalls and I was overly aggressive in breaking the stall on the initial try so we worked on that and I simply relaxed the back-pressure rather than forcibly pitching down.

Power on stalls were next and it was extremely hard to get it to a safe break in that configuration without standing the plane on its tail, so we tabled those for another day.

Then we did an emergency engine out and I sucked at that, having not done it in about a year or so. In short I didn't keep it at VGlide which would be a fail. I then did it again with better results locking in the airspeed but need practice estimating the whole gliding distance aspect so I don't overshoot the chosen field. It needs some work.

then we headed back and I did a cross-wind soft field landing which was ok but sporty with the way the winds were gusting and blowing. Then we asked for runway 18 as the winds were 19 knots at 180 which is one heckuva direct crosswind using 27R.

We got permission to do so, and I did an overall ok short field but messed up the ending with a sudden crosswind that messed things up. Then Pontiac got too traffic-y, lots and lots of planes coming and going all over the place, and we had to do a go-round on the next final as a helicopter had decided to sit on 18 and hadn't cleared it in time for us. Then we did one more short field on 18 and that was that. I need to work on the short field landings more.

Overall I'd say that one flight with Don had a salutary effect on my landings and is getting me back on track. I figure I'll take another lesson with him soon.

That's 2.5 hours and 10 landings.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Likely Photoshop Killer For The Consumer Photo Processing Market

Now out for Mac in a production release but now also available in a free Windows Beta version, Affinity Photo is likely going to give Adobe Photoshop a run for the amateur and prosumer/hobbyist photo processing market.

It's pretty darn impressive what this beta can do, and it is pretty darn intuitive.

Like all Betas there are some issues, such as the export photo option which is how you get your processed photo out of the program and ready for use. However, after choosing .jpg it seems to only give the option to export to Affinity photo format, which would be rather useless. Not so, just name it with a .jpg filename ending and it works fine. Hopefully they'll fix that in the next release.

You can go from this:

To this in about 30 seconds:

Not bad at all.

There's a lot of excellent features in Affinity Photo and it looks very promising indeed.

At a 49.99 price point for software you keep and install locally and not subscribe to, I expect it will give Adobe Photoshop some fierce competition in the hobbyist market once it is released in a production version.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Flying Lesson #89 - Getting A Different Perspective

For Lesson 89 I did something quite different.

Taking Comrade Misfit's advice, I sought an outside opinion.

Interestingly enough, the outside advice led back to Don Weaver, the acrobatics instructor I already had met and with whom I did my spin training. I guess it takes a roundabout way sometimes to get to the obvious. He indicated he was a aware of some issues and would be happy to meet with me and checkout how I'm doing.

So I met him at Crosswinds Aviation in Howell, Livingston County Airport, one of the locations he teaches out of and I did their paperwork, did the preflight and he finished doing the lecture he was doing, came on out and we were off.

The plane was a Cessna 172SP with a Garmin 1000 glass panel setup. Quite a step-up from the 172M, it has fuel injection, no carb heat, and no more comfy steam gauges. The preflight was slightly different as a result as was the engine start procedure. The glass panel instruments were pretty easy to figure out (Don had to point out where the ball was on the display, other than that I pretty much got it down quickly and its easy). It also had active traffic which would prove to be a boon in the pattern. It was a darn nice plane - everything was nicely setout and had that newer plane feel. The engine with the fuel injection was smooth as silk, the controls were wonderfully responsive and light, and with the trim set the plane basically would fly itself. It was a damn nice aircraft.

So we started off with my taxiing it, doing the run up and then a nice takeoff after a couple other planes in the pattern landed, no problems. We then did a pattern and I did a decent landing and Don pointed out I needed to be flying with my feet more.

For the next pattern we had 4 planes including a Cirrus doing a B-52 pattern and some other planes which made me happy to have active traffic as with the haze the planes were a bit hard to spot and the traffic monitor made it a snap to figure out where they were to grab a visual on them. The Cirrus constantly did wide patterns and given he was faster but we were on a tighter pattern it made for some definite attention to what was going on so we did not cut him off. This did lead to practice with non-standard patterns, which was fine.

Then Don had me do patterns but then not land and instead hold it just above the runway and move the plane back and forth with the ailerons while keeping the nose straight with the rudder and then do a go around once we ran out of runway. This was both fun and rather instructive in doing slow flight down the runway and proved to be very helpful indeed and really helped my confidence a lot.

Then we would do the same thing but actually land and do touch-and-gos, and the landings were excellent.

Don thinks I do need more focus on using the rudder more but didn't see any serious problems.

He suggested I take more lessons with Crosswinds either with himself or another instructor he introduced me to and work on getting the rudder and airmanship confidence up to where I'm fully comfortable and then either finish up with the flight test with Flight 101 so I don't need to relearn all the instrumentation and such as my other maneuvers are ok, or switch fully over to Crosswinds.

The flight was 1.4 with 6 actual landings and quite a few low passes.

The downsides: 1. Training at Crosswinds is more expensive as their aircraft rate is a fair bit higher for their quite admittedly nicer aircraft, but it's about 25% more expensive which does hit the pocketbook, especially after putting this much time in already.

2. If I fully switch I'm going to have to get used to a G1000 glass panel setup with different instrument setup, and totally different controls for running the GPS etc, and the slightly different procedures for the 172SP, as in quit reaching for the carb heat that's not there and the engine start is different as are the V speeds, though not by much.

3. Distance - instead of being about 25 minutes away, they're a solid 60 minutes away which adds up fast in traffic, time and gas.

I'll probably bite the bullet and take some more lessons there but not fully switch over.

The upside is I haven't felt quite this good and confident about flying, and that I can really do this in a while. Maybe this was all it took.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Did Their Mothers Never Teach Them Not To Play In Traffic?

Let's see, special snowflakes block a freeway, at night, wearing dark clothing and only occasionally shining little lights, with oncoming cars approaching at highway speeds - what could possibly go wrong?

Well, this:

Stupidity tends to hurt, and blocking traffic because you're upset with an election result tends to be the very definition of stupid.

At the very least, the Detroit Police Department announced they will arrest anyone blocking freeways in the city which should cut down on some of this silliness coming out of Wayne State University, and the Michigan State Police has made a similar announcement.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Special Snowflakes Sure Are Fragile

Yes, Facebook is still going full bug-house nuts with the wailing and passive-aggressive threats of disappointed Hillary voters.

College campuses not to be outdone as bastions of leftist group-think have gone into emergency mode to counsel the many special snowflakes aggrieved by the loss.

Michigan's bastions of higher ed are no exception with their supposed leaders of tomorrow reaching for their binkies and crayons to cope with the loss the media told them could not happen.

PJ Media: U. of Michigan Gives Students Play-Doh, Coloring Books to Cope With Trump

Yes, Play-Doh and crayons for students paying tuition of $28,776 plus taxpayer subsidies per year for undergrad at an elite university.

Freep: MSU hosting events for students devastated by Trump win

Michigan State is one of at least two colleges in Michigan dedicating staff and resources to help students and faculty deal with the outcome of the presidential election.

Around 300 people attended and many shared their fears and anxieties of a Trump presidency at the Eli Broad College of Business Wednesday night in an event organized by college administrators.

Counselors and staff at the University of Michigan-Flint were made available Wednesday to address student concerns, and students at colleges across the country, including UCLA and the University of Texas-Austin, marched and protested Wednesday.

Wednesday event, hosted by MSU’s Office of Student Affairs and Services, is one of three MSU-sponsored events planned. On Monday and Tuesday, the MSU Union will have “healing spaces” where students will have the opportunity to discuss how the campus community can come together after a long and divisive election season.

Your parents paying $14,880 a year for your tuition and all they got was a participation trophy.

The Spartans of old are spinning in their graves to think their descendants bearing their names have come to this.

Funnily enough, I don't recall news of any such sessions being held in 2008 or 2012. Conservatives must be made of sterner stuff.

Good to know their logo from 2000 still works:

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Dear Liberals And Lefties - You Will Be OK

Liberals, you and your progressive agenda lost last night in a match between two of the most lackluster and unlikable candidates this country has ever seen fit to select to run for office.

Conservatives made it through 8 years of Obama and the defeat of two lousy candidates to him, and you'll get through this.

Unlike liberals, conservatives at the time and even during this election had been constantly told by the media that they were going to lose and so were able to better prepare for it.

Lefties, dependent on a media confidently predicting a Hillary blowout this morning are far less prepared and the shock of the loss is therefore greater.

The loss has also been amplified by many (not all) leftists inability to think of their opponents as anything but un-progressive, racist, bad-thinking people who can't possibly win or have anything worthwhile to say, so the loss is felt much greater. Leftists haven't had to deal with this in 8 years so I thought I'd provide a helpful guide.

Today on Facebook I see all sorts of disbelief that Hillary lost, wailing, gnashing of teeth, the calling anyone who voted for Trump racist or xenophobic, and demanding that anyone who voted for Trump unfriend them.

It's Ok, your overreactions and hysteria are understandable, you're just going through the Five Stages of Grief.

The 5 stages of grief and loss are: 1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.

While People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them, a lot of Liberals met Stage 1 last night and are moving right on time into Stage 2.

Take a deep breath, relax, maybe take a break from the Facebook echo chamber and name-calling and move on with your lives. This is not the end of your world as you know it, elections aren't everything, and this loss may enhance your perspective on America a bit and move you outside of your bubble, which can only be a good thing.

America Dodged The Delete Key Last Night

The Detroit News: Donald Trump elected 45th president in stunning upset

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Wowza Not The Election Night I Was Expecting To See

This election is certainly coming up rather unexpected-like.

That Trump may actually win Michigan was beyond likely probability. We'll see if Detroit cranks in the Democrat votes at the last minute (as is its historical style) or not.

It looks like this will go down to the wire with the outcomes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania determining who will be president.

And with that, see you in the morning, and hopefully we have a president chosen by then.


The entire process took 25 minutes and would have been quicker had some people ahead of me, who had indeed voted before in their lives, still not understood how to fill in circles beside the candidate of their choice. This required an exhaustive explanation from the poll worker including how to circle for straight ticket and to choose the non-partisan choices on the back.

There were also two nitwits in front of me who kept going out of line to look at the example ballot on the wall, come back into the line, and then go off to look at the ballot again trying to decide who to vote for as they still had no clue. Yes, their vote -- whatever it was they settled on -- counts as much as yours.

Finally got through the line, received my ballot, filled it out accordingly and civic duty however reluctantly is done. This election has been a red-hot mess.

Might as well close it out with a final thought:

Today, no matter which candidate wins the election, may justice prevail; may hope prevail; may peace prevail; and may the United States of America prevail.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Flying Lesson #88 - Leaping To Lapeer, Roamin To Romeo

Yesterday afternoon, being a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky and a light crosswind we headed to Lapeer to do some landings.

As it turned out, Lapeer was busy as T-shiet weather in November will get all the pilots out for another fling. I did two landings, the first one was ok but I came in a bit high, the second much better, and then it was just getting to crowded so we headed to Romeo.

At Romeo there was one plane that had departed the pattern and had announced he would be back in about 5 minutes and another one in the patter, so we entered and did three landings there and soon a few more planes showed up so we headed back to Pontiac.

On the way back to Pontiac we were flying straight into the sun and on downwind I could barely make out the runway. It got better on base and I did a nice landing on 9L and that was the lesson. Lots of practice just flying headings and holding altitudes and a few landings thrown in.

1.6 and 6 landings.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Brisket Results Report

The brisket, I'm happy to say, after a long slow cooking time came out great.

Excellent smoke ring and tenderness throughout,

Slicing it before dinner after it had cooled, we then reheated it and served it to us and out two guests.

It didn't need any BBQ sauce at all and was great straight and served with roasted potatoes and it was highly complimented.

The sad part - there's absolutely no leftovers - it was gone and gone fast.

Sunday Volunteer Services

Today was the annual JFS Fall-Fix up and we again volunteered to take part and help spruce up elderly people's lawns and windows so they can continue living independently.

We were teamed up with some of the kids friends and their parents and off we went to get it done.

We raked leaves, washed the outside windows, and everyone put in a solid effort and got the job done and helped.

Unfortunately, with the fantastic weather we've been having, there's still lots of leaves yet to fall, but it was a solid effort with many bags of leaves removed and windows are clean.

Things Kids Say

Me seeing Leah on the internet this morning looking at horse stuff: Good morning, what are you doing?

Leah: "I'm in the market for a horse."

Me: ok then...quickly checks that the credit card is not near the computer at the time.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Today's Project - Smoking Brisket

Since we're having guests over tomorrow, Natasha wanted me to make something special and since the weather is nice for outdoor cooking she wanted me to make brisket on the smoker.

Her wish being my command, I prepared the brisket with a rub, stoked the smoker with charcoal and hickory wood, got boiling water for the water pan and then introduced the brisket to its new best friend, smoke.

Temperature is up to a nice 200 degrees, heading to about 220 for the initial smoking.

This is going to be a long, long cook, probably about 12 plus hours or so.

We'll see how it turns out tomorrow.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Flying Lesson #88 - The Long And The Short Of It

First we flew northeast over Romeo and then on to a new airport.

Marine City Airport, 76G is on the shores of Lake St. Clair, right near Selfridge AFB's airspace. You want to make sure to stay out of Selfridge's airspace.

It's a short field with 3,100 feet by 60 feet wide and with ditches on each side and a serious obstacle of power lines off the end of Runway 22/4 that go up 300 feet. Of course the winds had us use Runway 22, so I got to practice my short field takeoffs with a serious Vx climb up and over the power lines. My short takeoffs are very nice if I say so myself - even right into the sun I held Vx until clear of the obstacle with no problems.

So we did a couple short field landings, and with the road 15 feet from the threshold we had fun going over an RV - it felt kinda close. The takeoffs and landings were in a light crosswind were ok. The taxi backs were fun as at the runway end if you mess up your turn you'll fall into a water filled ditch on either side of the runway.

Then Ray had me put some foggles on and practice flying without outside references as that will be on the flight test.

He had me navigate by instruments only giving course and altitude corrections and ended up with me lined up on Pontiac's 27L for landing, at which point I took the foggles off and landed the plane with a pretty decent landing.

That's 3 landings and another 1.5 hours.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Flying Lessons #86 and #87 More Crosswind Practice

Yesterday the winds were blowing from around 110-180 gusting away from 9-1 or so. This meant it was Runway 9L time and lost of fun with the crosswind practice.

Lots of bumps and pushes form the wind and various times. All in all not bad on the landings and they're getting better.

We did full stop taxi backs for them and it wasn't too bad, and a few landings were quite excellent. After being bashed around by the rollers and turbulence we called it a day.

1.1 Hours and 6 landings.

Today was much of the same, but the winds were from 180-210 at 8-13 making for use of Runway 27R with a right hand pattern. It was also much less turbulent up there. There was also some bright sun and combined with some haze out of the south made finding the runway on the downwind difficult at times, as in it almost felt like IFR in that direction in some spots. Other than the visual fun, I did some good patterns and had pretty good control throughout even when hitting some rollers at times.

The cool air made for some excellent climb performance. We were doing touch and goes so it was down and then right back to it.

We were asked by the tower a couple times to cut the base in close for some other traffic and those landings went quite well.

No matter with the haze, I did some really good crosswind landings, a couple were flat-ish which is my ongoing bugbear, one was a carrier landing from flaring too early to counter the flat-ish landings, and the rest were damn nice if I say so myself. Nothing like a crab followed by a side slip with the left wing down and the rudder kicked right to keep the nose down the runway, then puling back on the yoke and turning it more left simultaneously to keep the crosswind correction in. Ray said my last three landings were solid A+s. I'll take it, and maybe I'm getting out of this slump.

1.0 and 8 landings.