Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Dual: Pattern Practice

I've decided to lose the "lesson #" or "flight #" designation since there are now both dual and solo flights, plus some semi-documented flights, so I'll just mark posts as Solo, Dual, or Supplemental.

Mario was out this week because his wife just had a baby (their third, a baby girl). I planned to do some solo landing practice, and although the sky was clear and beautiful, the winds were outside the limits Mario set on my solo flight endorsement (8 knots, 4 knots crosswind) – they were at 300 degrees, but 16 knots, gusting to 23 knots. I was out of luck, but it looked like Doug Rio was just hanging around, so I asked him to fly with me. He said OK. He’s a young Brazilian guy, working on his MEI right now. We took the third C152, one I had never flown, 69L (six-niner-lima in the trade). It’s newer than the others, pretty nice, red-white-and-blue paint scheme, pretty sharp.

The wind gusts blew my around a bit, and it was fairly turbulent. I decided to use only two stages of flaps and tried to fly base and approach at around 70 knots rather than 65 on final. I got slow on one approach, got down to 1800’ on one base leg, and got down below 500’ AGL pretty far out on one final. Line-ups were fair, I’d say. All my usual problems, but slight improvements – I really held 70-75 kts from the numbers to final on all but one approach (on one I was up to 80 kts on part of the final). Still playing with power too much because I’m not consistent and I’m not nailing the 65 or 70 or 75 airspeed I need. ALSO – the view was lovely (not that I notice much in a landing session!), but the sun in the west was BRUTAL flying off runway 29. I need sunglasses, even some clip-ons for the flight bag for now, get Rx sunglasses soon, though! I quit after 4 landings because the sun was just too blinding, especially on climb-out.

It frustrates me that I plan to notice more things in landings – speed, trim, landmarks to hold headings and to turn toward, crosswind correction. But I get this tunnel-vision thing going and focus on 3 or 4 things (it used to be one or two – I read my account of lesson two with Mario, the June 5 evening landing session with two after-dark landings, which MiGMan just posted – man, I was CLUEless back then, just about 10 weeks ago, so I guess I am making progress). Doug was nice, he told me to watch my airspeeds, especially in gusty conditions, and also to watch pattern altitude (usually I’m good on this). Nothing to blame on Rio, though I wish I could have been sharper flying for another CFI.

I received my Jepp knee-board and the timer and yoke mount I ordered. Ready for cockpit management on cross-country flights!

Time: 0.6 dual, 0.0 solo, TT 31.8/1.1 hrs, C152 at ORH

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