Lesson 9 – More Practice

Yesterday was clear but very cold. Unfortunately, the heater in the airplane we flew seemed to be slowly going bad. The longer we were up, the colder it got in the cockpit. No icicles actually formed but, it was a little distracting. We also had gusty winds and bumpy air that made forward and side slip practice a bit too advanced for me. We flew to Westosha to give it a try but gave up on them after one pass.

Before trying the slips, we used our time to review slow flight, steep turns and power off stalls. I didn’t do any of them really well or really bad – just sort of middle of the road. I think I have been expecting some sort of breakthrough when suddenly everything would come together and my maneuvers would be perfect. Now, I’ve come to the conclusion that that is not what is going to happen. Instead, I just have to keep practicing and they will get better each time I do them. Sandy graded them all as meeting the standards for my current level of training so, I guess, they are coming along. For the next lesson, we will do another review and then start on ground reference maneuvers. I hope that these are going to add some precision to my flying that will help with all the exercises.

  • Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry about your maneuvers not being perfect. Just yesterday (Monday) I had to get a Bi-Annual Flight Review (BFR) and my annual 141 Standardization flight (allows me to teach at a 141 Flight School). Even though the winds were gusting from the West, I made a couple of good landings on North-South runways. However, I forgot to call my turn to Base at an uncontrolled field. Even after all these hours and numerous students, mistakes still happen. They key is to admit to the errors and try to minimize them in the future. Being a safe pilot doesn’t require perfection.

    John Keating (pilot@flyingchicago.com)

  • Oblivion says:

    Ahh, Westosha, my current home base. If the winds were squirrely, you probably did well to pass it up at this point, especially if the winds were from the south-south-west at all. Between the hangars and that goofy drop-off at the NE corner of the field, the winds can do some really strange things on short final.

    This isn’t meant to scare you off from the field – it’s a good learning experience – I just agree with your/your instructor’s assessment that it might have been a little early for you. 😉

    And as for John’s comments, he’s right. It’s amazing the dumb mistakes you can and will make. Luckily(?) we aren’t flying F-16s at MACH 1.3 here, so we’ve got a little wiggle room. Not that you shoudl be complacent, just easy on yourself.

  • Tom says:

    I’m not sure I could have handled the winds that day at any airport. It was just too gusty. That pit at the end of the runway is interesting though. I look forward to getting back there for more practice.

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