Monday, July 17, 2000

Getting the Green Light (Lesson #22)

This was a pretty good lesson considering the week off and the crappy weather. There was a slight but noticeable crosswind, and we stayed in the pattern in N47261, which is the underachieving C152 (climbs like a bumblebee). Started out with runway 11 and did OK on takeoffs (some drift) and pattern (crabbing for wind MOST of the time). Landings were a little rough, but I flared and got the plane down, even with some wind correction.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When I bounce, I have a tendency to lower the nose to try to paste it on the runway. BAD MOVE. When you bounce, you are still flying and have to land AGAIN. You don't want to land on the nose wheel. KEEP THE NOSE UP AND ADD SOME POWER IF NECESSARY. Also, TRACK ALONG THE RUNWAY -- I put some bad side loads on the gear last night. AND THINK ABOUT THE WIND. Use ailerons for drift, straighten the nose WITH THE OPPOSITE RUDDER. I got confused on the proper rudder to apply and/or I let off on the correction too soon.

Another thing is speed. I'm still getting slow sometimes and I don't really know why. It should be easy -- 75 downwind, 70 base, 65 final, boom. Once established, I do a lot better if I just look at my landing spot and BARELY GLANCE at airspeed.

There were a lot of jets around last night, and at one point a Hawker was slowly back-taxiing to get to the end of the runway (they want all 7000 feet I guess). I was on downwind, so the tower (Dave, he's a student pilot too -- should see if I can visit up there some time) told us to do a 360 when abeam the numbers then report back when abeam again. This gave the Hawker time to get in place and take off (caution wake turbulence). Pretty cool! Mario handled the radio on this part -- I didn't expect it and wasn't sure what to read back. Mario also asked the tower to give me a light signal before the first takeoff (green - clear to take off, clear to land if airborne). He wanted me to see what it looks like -- good idea. I need to memorize the signals (I know them well enough for the multiple choice FAA questions).

Finally we had to switch runways from 11 to 29 by doing a right 90 followed by a 270 onto the new runway heading. Mario did the radio on this one, but we agreed that it was good to have seen a couple of these ATC-ordered pattern spacing maneuvers before I solo. Another student told me he got two of these on his first solo and had never seen them before -- he just wanted to land! He's got 37 hours and is almost ready for his check ride (needs night x-country and long solo x-country, figures he'll complete in 43 hours, wow!). He was a 20-something heading off to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical U in Florida to train as a commercial pilot, and he wanted to complete his private before enrolling. I could have probably learned faster in my twenties, too. But all in good time, grasshopper. Mario told me to study the Part 61 & 91 student pilot/solo regs before Saturday's flight, so maybe…

Time: 1.2 hrs dual, TT 26.0 hrs, C152 at ORH

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