This lesson was, pretty much, a repeat of the last one. We went through all the maneuvers one more time. They all went a little better than the last lesson so, I am making progress. Next flight is scheduled for Sunday and will be my Stage One checkflight.
Sandy is offering less and less help as we get further into the training. Yesterday was very hazy, but she left it up to me to find the way back to the airport. She didn’t prompt me when it was time to call the tower or to do the pre-landing checklist. Those routine task are my responsibility now. I know she would jump in if I was doing anything dangerous, she just isn’t going to bail me out on every little thing anymore.
I realized that I haven’t explained just how the different stages of training are defined at my school. Let me correct that oversight right now. It is going to take several more months and many more hours of flying to reach the end, but I am well on my way now.
Stage One, which I am just finishing up, covers the basics of controlling the airplane. Takeoffs, straight and level flight, turns, climbs, descents, ground reference maneuvers, slow flight, steep turns, basic stalls, slips, some radio work, and some pilotage are covered. Also, flying the pattern is part of Stage One but there is no emphasis on the actual landing just yet.
Stage Two is the landing stage. In this one we will be doing a LOT of takeoff and landings as well as skills associated with them. I will learn all the different stall variations, emergency procedures, pattern entry variations (by entering the pattern at several different area airports), much more about radio work and more about pilotage. This stage will end with another stage check and my first solo.
In Stage Three, we will fly the dual cross countries. Navigation, weather, ATC procedures, hood work and night flying will be among the main topics covered in this stage.
Stage Four is the last stage and includes the solo cross countries. Also included in this stage will be preparation for the FAA private pilot checkride. At the end of this one, I will be a certificated private pilot!