Lesson 5 – In the Pattern

Yesterday we finally got a day when the weather was good enough to fly – barely. I made my first call to Flight Service for a weather briefing. I don’t know the name of the person I talked to, but thank you for your patience. Visibility was 3 miles in haze which wasn’’t quit good enough for practicing basic maneuvers (that really requires a visible horizon) so we stayed in the pattern and did takeoffs and pattern flying. After the long layoff, it was very helpful just to get in the air and feel out the airplane again.

Taxing felt more natural to me this time. I wasn’’t trying to use my hands to steer and I felt like I had a much better grasp of using the brakes and rudder pedals together. Some of my stops were actually quit smooth. I still need a lot of practice but, the basics are starting to come together.

My flying was a little ragged. Things seemed to happen fast in the pattern and I was behind the airplane much of the time. Sandy had to remind me to make the power changes and flap settings as we went around. She was doing the landings but I was supposed to be controlling our speed and power. I did OK on the pitch control, not great but not terrible. All-in-all, I learned a lot so it was a valuable lesson.

The next few lessons will be out in the practice area working on basic flying skills and getting comfortable controlling the airplane. I expect to make a lot of progress during these next flights.

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