Lesson 8 – Low Approaches

If anyone is keeping score, yesterday’s flying lesson really was the fourth one in a row. We couldn’t get above 2500 feet, but we did fly.

Today was supposed to be power-off stalls, steep turns and slow flight – again. We started with three power-off stalls. I’m getting better at these. I kept the rudder centered so the stalls were straight ahead with no roll at all. I was a little to aggressive pushing the nose down on the second stall and we lost over 300 feet instead of the 200 feet or less I was trying for. Overall though, not too bad.

Next, we took advantage of the winds by flying to Galt Airport and doing low approaches with a direct crosswind. I did fine with flying the pattern but, the side slip gave me a lot of trouble. I just couldn’t seem to get the uncoordinated part down. I needed left aileron and right rudder but every time I moved the yoke left my left foot went forward too. On base, I would tell myself I wasn’t going to do that again then; I would go ahead and do it anyway. I did finally start to get it by the fourth pass so next time should be much better.

Time was almost up so we never did get to the steep turns or slow flight. Those go back on the schedule for the next flight.

The visibility was lower than on previous flights so finding my way back to the airport was more of a challenge than usual. We were a little south of where I thought we were but not by far and I got it figured out before we got close enough for our 10 mile call to the tower. I know that Sandy knew where we were all along but, she let me find my way on my own. Radio work and the pattern at Waukegan were no problem. Sandy is still helping with the landings but, I’m doing a little more each time.

Will Thursday be five flights in a row? The long range forecast is for rain and snow but we’ll see.

  • John says:

    When you compare slips to coordinated flight, you definietly see what the FAA means by “a negative transfer of learning.” In your first few lesons, you learn to use aileron and rudder together. Then for crosswind landings, you learn these controls can work together in more than one way.

    One way to handle slips is to divide and conquer. First, ease in the rudder to align the plane’s longitudinal axis with the runway. Then use aileron to keep the plane centered over the runway. With practice, you can keep your focus rotating between rudder to align the plane’s axis and aileron to stay over the centerline. Rinse and repeat …

  • Tom says:

    Looking back on it, I think this is pretty much what I was doing on the last (most successful) pass. I was not trying to move both controls at once but, as you suggest, switching my attention back and forth. Next time I will try to do that intentionally rather than just by accident 🙂

  • Oblivion says:

    Man, I LOVE slips. . . .

    I remember having a very frustrating time with crosswind landings, like 2-3 lessons in a row. One day the winds were just a little too squirrley to do much good, so we just did a ‘fun’ flight down to Schaumburg and back to check out sneaking under the ORD shelf (and I think the A&P had a part that needed to be picked up or something). Those two landings, though gusty, were the first ‘straight down the chute’ winds I’d seen in weeks. That was the little break I needed to get everything to click.

    Since then, crosswinds are fun. Even if you’re not goofy enough to think they’re fun, they will at elast get comfortable to you, I promise.

    Blue skies!

  • Tom says:

    Actually, the flying low over the runway part was fun. But yes, the slipping was frustrating. I’ll get it next time.

  • Oblivion says:

    It doesn’t look like it’ll be 5 in a row 😉

    METAR KUGN 161655Z 31010KT 1 1/4SM TSRA BR OVC001 02/01 A2977 RMK AO2 LTG DSNT ALQDS TSB17UPB13E15 PRESRR SLP091 P0022 T00170011

    We just had two hail storms roll through Grayslake. Thems the breaks.

  • Tom says:

    Yep, ground school for me today. My CFI called last night to remind me to bring all my books.

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