I felt good today. Maybe it was because of the recent change from Daylight Savings Time back to normal time. I have been waking up early because it’s now lighter out at 6:30AM than it used to be. Whatever the reason, I was on.
I had to rethink my lesson strategy after my last two rotten ones. Before those lessons, I went in on a mission. I concentrated too much. I wanted to do well and didn’t trust my instincts. Well, this time I went in on a different type of mission. This time, I was loose and wanted to act like I was driving my car…like I have been doing it for years. I think it worked pretty well. Actually, I didn’t even think about flying all week. I just keep my reading up for the ground school. There was a bit of time between these lessons, because we had to cancel Sunday because of the wind.
Again, we did touch and goes, which is fine with me. I really want to nail these landings. We took off from runway 26 and I did my normal thing. I turned in for final approach and did it…perfectly. Yes! I was back. I discovered that the “balloon” problem I was having wasn’t because of my excess speed, but because of my excessive flair. No, not my style (flair), but my pulling the yoke back to much when I get close to the runway. It just seemed to flow today, even with the breeze.
I did seven takeoffs/landings today, with Yigal handling one of the landings (it got a little hairy). I keep thinking back when landing seemed so much easier and how it seems like I got worse. But then I reminded myself that there is much more wind these days and how we are now whittling down from large, general exercises to more refined ones. In other words, we are getting down to the nitty gritty.
There was one attempted landing where I didn’t decsend fast enough and I was no where near the spot on the runway I should have been. I was way high, looking down at the blacktop. We had to perform a “Go-around.” It seemed a bit tricky today to decsend. I kept coming in high…I think it was because I was turning from downwind to base too soon. It’s funny, you can correct that problem pretty easily, just by cutting the throttle and letting the airplane decsend naturally. One would think that by pitching the nose down would be a better way to lose altitude, but you have to remember your airspeed. At that point in the traffic pattern, you already have your flaps down. If you decsend too fast and gain too much airspeed, you can tear the flaps off the plane.
I have to say that I am a champ on the radio. I was joking today with Yigal that if I could just sit on the side of the runway with a radio, I would be in great shape. He responded by telling me there are jobs for that…called Air Traffic Controllers. Very funny. I do like the communication and the authority though. The best part of it all is how I get to see other student pilots out in the same airspace as me doing the same type of training. I like hearing their radio calls and going back and forth with them. I think I will get a radio and a beach chair for the summer.
I think I want a few more lessons and then a real smooth day for my solo.