Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Consistent Landings

This morning was beautiful with clear skies and nearly calm winds. I did five landings, the first four of which were good landings (according to Ed), though of course there were things that could have been a little better on each one. A couple of times I got down to 60 mph before I was over the runway. We like to have 65-70 coming over the trees because when the Citabria gets down to 60, you start to sink faster and if there's some wind shear, you are closer to a stall than you would like to be at 60 or 80 feet up. I used a slip on a couple of final approaches where I felt I was high and/or fast, noticing this myself before Ed said anything (except on the first landing where he said "we're pretty high" right after I turned final).

The fifth landing was good right down to the runway, but I didn't hold it off quite long enough and was late adding power, so it was a pretty hard landing with a slight bounce, but OK.

I've made a lot of progress in the last few flights with Ed. Takeoffs are good, though we refined those a bit this morning. When I work the tail up on the takeoff roll, I've been holding a level flight attitude. It's better to keep it slightly nose up (slightly tail down, video here) so when you reach flying speed (about 60 mph), it practically flies itself off without a distinct "rotate" back-stick motion (maybe slight back pressure). Less chance to get slow this way. Patterns are good, and I'm doing better holding the best climb sight picture (around 75 mph) and keeping the ball centered. I'm noticing problems sooner - keeping up with the airplane if not "ahead of the airplane" as Ed always urges me to always stay. All of this contributes to better landings - consistency avoids problems, and when problems occur, fixing them sooner (like line-up with the runway center line) means you can focus more on the landing itself.

One of my biggest problems still seems to be getting the stick ALL the way back as I touch down. I've got to get that under control so Ed never has to mention it again. 

Here's a video of Ed landing the Citabria this morning (HD, not hat cam VGA). Doesn't LOOK that hard, does it?

0.9 hours dual in Citabria (8/31/11, 3B3)