The weather held for two lessons in a row! That’s a pretty rare circumstance for me this winter. It was a lot colder yesterday than it has been so; we sat in the airplane and let it warm up for a couple minutes before we taxied. While we waited, Sandy started to quiz me on what I would say to ground and tower in different situations. It wasn’t hard for me to to guess what was coming next. When we were ready to go, she had me do the first few radio calls then, she took over again when I got busy with the actual takeoff. I did better than I had expected to do for my first radio work. I’m sure I am going to mess up sometime in the near future, but this first time went very well.
I taxied to runway 32 (which I almost missed because the taxiway continues past the end of the runway) and we headed out to the practice area. The air was pretty bumpy below the scattered cloud layer but very smooth once we got on top of it. We did a short review of medium turns then started working on climbs and descents with and without turns. I’m getting better at holding headings and altitudes but, I still need more work. I always seem to lose track of one or the other. I suppose getting it all to come together is what this basic air work is about so, I’m doing just what I should be doing to get better.
Next up was to start flying at slower and slower speeds. Once I got down to about 45 knots, I started doing turns and climbs at that speed. I got too steep in a couple turns - I have to watch it to make sure I keep them shallow – but otherwise I did OK. The plan is to work on steep turns, slow flight, and power off stalls for the next two lessons. Those maneuvers should help me with learning to keep all the controls working together the way they should.
After the slow flight, I took us back down into the bumpy air and we headed for Waukegan. We worked on some pilotage on the way back and joined the pattern as number three to land. I taxied back to the ramp and got us parked. Taxiing is getting a lot better.
Overall, it was a very good lesson that taught me a lot. Another 1.4 hours in the logbook.