The oral portion of my Stage Two check was no problem. I was quizzed on solo privileges and limitations, a few questions about the C172 systems, a little about traffic patterns and then a lot about emergencies and how to deal with them. I had most of the answers but I learned a few new things too.
The flight itself didn’t go as well as I would have liked. We went to Westosha for a few approaches. The idea was that the narrow runway there would make any errors much more obvious. Out of four approaches, I only managed to land once. The other three ended up being go arounds. I just couldn’t get into a good flare. For one thing, I was so concerned about going off the sides of the runway that I wasn’t paying enough attention to pitch and airspeed. Ben, who was the CFI doing the check, assured me that it was alright. He said he wouldn’t have been worried even if I hadn’t been able to land at all. He was more interested in judgment than in great landings.
From there, we went over to Grand Geneva to try a couple landings. I have landed there several times before so I was expecting to do better. Maybe it was a carryover from my frustration at Westosha but, I didn’t do much better here. I ballooned pretty high on one and bounced another one. I had trouble maintaining the right speeds in the pattern and I just couldn’t seem to get the picture that would let me know how high I was above the runway.
The landing back at Waukegan was the best of the day. I was right of the centerline but got it down OK.
I don’t want to sound like everything went horribly. The takeoffs, cruise, simulated emergencies, pilotage and other aspects of the flight went just fine. It was the approaches and landings that gave me the trouble yesterday.
I was disappointed with my performance. I know I can do better than I did on the check flight. Hopefully, I can demonstrate that on Thursday when I am scheduled to fly my next lesson.