Friday, March 03, 2017

Flying Lesson #105 - Dead Reckoning

Instead of hanging around Pontiac we would go forth and afield today, if for just a little distance.

Apparently one of the examiners likes to divert people to Linden but he does it in a bit of an atypical way - while no GPS is to be expected, he also apparently takes away your chart and still expects you to get there. I'd say that's rather unsporting but what can you do?

After the run-up, where we first had to burn some build up off some spark plugs as a magneto was firing roughly when tested, but it cleaned up ok, we crossed Runway 27R for 27L and did an intersection takeoff from Hotel and headed out to the Northwest.

The takeoff was a short field crosswind takeoff and that was the first time I did one of those in an Archer - no problem at all except for quite a bit of chop and some wind shear that kept trying to jerk the plane around as the wind kept getting under the left wing and trying to lift it.

Then on our way over, Ray pointed out several landmarks and I was finally able to pick out Linden's airstrip which is a little hard to pick out of the background.

Once at Linden, we did all the radio calls and headed in, being careful to stay at 1,800 feet as Flint's Class C outer shelf is right above Linden.

We then did short field and soft field takeoffs and pretty much regular landings and one short field landing as there was a pretty decent crosswind blowing.

Overall not bad, but the flow in an Archer will still take some getting used to, and the soft field takeoffs feel really weird. On the soft field takeoff, you start with 25 degrees of flaps and the yoke full back and the plane basically takes off itself and immediately triggers a stall warning. You then have to push forward a bit, but not too much, on the yoke to get the nose down, but even slightly too much and you're landing again. Then you have to let the speed build and it then eventually flies itself off the runway, a very different feel from the 172 where you're using lots of forward pressure on the Yoke to keep the nose down. This is going to take more practice to perfect.

Then, we dead reckoned our way back and that was that. Dead reckoning by myself will take some practice.

I'm tending to do a side-slip too early on final for DCT's tastes as they want me to have it crabbed longer and kick it over to a side-slip just at touchdown instead of short final when I've been typically doing it, so I'll adapt to that technique. Then back to Pontiac for a downwind entry to 27R, and a good landing and done.

4 landings and 1.4.


Old NFO said...

Yep, being able to recognize a field IS a good thing!!! You can also use Google Earth to get a 'feel' for strange strips you might need to use. :-)

Aaron said...

Old NFO: That it is and I like to use Google Earth for that. Linden tends to be a little harder to find than most due to some lakes and such that tend to throw you off a bit. The trees right on the approach also kinda suck.

Harry Flashman said...

I stopped flying in 1995 after I could no longer get a medical certificate. Started in 1973, got my single engine land through the Navy flight indoctrination program then went on to Pensacola in 75. Back then you had VOR in the States when you could pick it up, and sometimes TACAN when it was available. Most low level flying was dead reckoning. I'm sure it's a skill that could come in handy even today with all the bells and whistles aircraft have for navigation.