Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Real Progress

I flew another 1.1 hours of pattern practice early this morning with Ed in the Citabria, and it went much better than last time (2 days ago - I really like lessons close together!). My landings are actually starting to work, and out of six landings, three were a bit ragged but OK, two were fairly good, and the last one was just "good landing" (according to Ed). Cool! Of course I'm not there yet - I'm still making some mistakes (stick all the way back!) and I need to work on consistency and on judging how the approach is going (especially when I'm too high). But I feel a lot better than Monday morning when every approach was high and/or fast and I had two go-arounds.

Mainly I followed my own advice from my previous blog post (scribbled diagram/notes above) - I pulled the power all the way to idle when abeam the numbers on downwind (rather than 1500 RPM which left me with more altitude and airspeed than I needed), and I made sure that I had 65-70 mph on final rather than 75-80 (a couple of times I got below 65 on final which gives you a lot of "sink" and requires adding some power to allow a gentle round-out on short final). I was still high on one approach and Ed recommended a slip which I did (with some coaching - I still need more practice on integrating slips smoothly into the approach).I'm also not happy with my precision in rolling out from base to final on the extended runway center line - I usually need a fair amount of correction to get lined up on final. Not sure why (no wind again this morning so this should not be that hard to judge).

Takeoffs were all good, and my directional control on the landing roll-out is getting better (at least on the grass - I will need to start doing some runway landings soon as well). Now I will have 10 days off while Ed and family head off on vacation. I'll work on some of my flight review study and pick up with Ed on August 14th.

Update: I've reviewed some of my flight notes from 2004 when I flew about 10 hours with Ed in his Piper Cub. There's quite a sense of deja vu there as far as my reluctant feet and various tail wheel and other mistakes. I've posted the note on lesson #4 (almost exactly 7 years ago!) from that series and may add more when I have time. 

1.1 hours dual in Citabria (8/3/11)