Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting ready to solo

Here it is almost 3 years after I started flying and I was finally told to expect to solo soon. YAY!!!!!

The delay was for reasons out of my control as most of you know but it still seems like a long time coming. When I flew today it was a matter of my CFI saying I want to see slow flight, power on and off stalls and steep turns, other than that I'm just going to sit here while you are in charge.

This didn't sound like much when we were on the ground but as we got in to the flight and added flight following, some extra traffic and a little haze it started to be a little much.

Nothing was different than the last flight really, it was just that it was my plane this time and he was just sitting there smiling at me every time I looked over.

My air work was OK but nothing special, I made a few mistakes and wasn't as crisp as the last time but he didn't complain and I tried to explain why things went how they did so he knew that I understood what I could have done either differently or just plain better.

I feel that any issues with my flying was more due to nerves and the stress I put on myself for wanting to do well. On the way back to the field it got a little more interesting.

My CFI never really tells me what to do but does offer suggestions and a hint if it looks like I'm starting to fall behind with my tasks. Today he just let me do things my way even if I fell behind and would help a little to get me caught back up but it was mostly up to me.

I was cleared for a straight in to RWY 17. I never really liked straight in approaches because I haven't really learned where the key points are. I still need the different legs of the traffic pattern to help settle in to a smooth flow and make sure I'm on speed.

My CFI says "no flaps on this one"...... No problem really but again not only going straight in but now removing the cues associated with adding 10 deg of flaps and looking for 75 was missing.

He wanted me a little high to practice a forward slip to landing but I was high and very fast. A simple reminder to watch my speed was all it took to get back in line again and it was a pretty smooth landing. I think it was my best of the day if you remove the parts before being on short final.

The take off for my next T&G was fine except that I still have an issue with the sight picture in the 172. I am still trying to use the 152's cowling even though the 172's is more rounded and slopes forward. It will take some getting used to still.

The next T&G is pretty normal but I flared a little high and had a bounce.... or two.....

The third and last time around the pattern was an engine out landing that went pretty well, I was in pretty tight and had some altitude to dump. In go the full flaps with a nice forward slip at the end and there we are. The last one had a little bit of a bounce in it but not bad.

I did however land a little long and I missed the call to turn out at RWY 8 so I was helped out by my CFI on that one.

All in all it wasn't a bad day but I bet I won't solo on Friday like I was hoping. We'll see how the pattern work he outlined for me goes and I'll cross my fingers but I'm thinking Monday or next Wednesday might be more realistic.

Fly safe!!!

Time Today: 1.1

Total Time: 22.5

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