Third Complex Flight

Yesterday was another very cold but clear day. The Cutlass had flown earlier so it was outside rather than in the nice warm hanger. Pete and I cooperated to do a complete but quick preflight then got inside the airplane and out of the cold wind. I gave the engine two shots of primer, pumped the throttle twice and it started right up. We taxied to runway 23, did our run-up and departed to the practice area west of the airport.

After a couple climbs and descents to review those important procedures, Pete started giving me emergency situation and had me run through the appropriate checklists for each. We went through engine fires, electrical system failure, engine out and gear retraction failure. Finally, Pete pulled the gear pump circuit breaker to off and had me go through an emergency landing gear extension. The manual gear extension lever is located between the seats. I pulled the handle forward and pumped it until the green light came on and the main wheels were visible out the windows. It takes a lot of pumping to get the gear down. I didn’t count but, the POH says about 35 strokes. The comforting things is just how well manual extension works.

By now, we were pointed back toward the airport. I got the ATIS, called the tower and entered the right downwind for runway 23. My landings were much better on this flight, I am getting adjusted to the extra speed and being more patience letting the airplane slow down and settle. No ballooning this time. We did three landings, two go-arounds and then our final landing. The go-arounds went very well. The steps are to add full power, set carb heat off, retract flaps to 20 degrees and watch for a positive rate of climb. Once we are climbing, raise the gear and bring the rest of the flaps in 10 degrees at a time. From there, the power comes back to 25 inches for a normal climb to pattern altitude.

I am now almost half way through the clubs complex aircraft experience requirements. I have 4.6 hours out of 10 required, 11 out of 25 landings and 2 out of 5 go-arounds. I probably need four more flights to finish but, I am already feeling fairly comfortable with the more complex systems.

  • rusty wrycza says:

    its decelerating that gets a little weird with the MAP/RPM combo’s
    in the end; you’ll like shifting into 2nd gear (climb/cruise) – just to hear the engine bark differently

  • Tom says:

    Speaking of decelerating, I forgot to mention that we repeated the process of going from cruise to approach speed as quickly as possible. Pete talked me through it on our first flight and had me do it again on this one. From 130 knots cruise speed: Power comes back to 17 inches, drop the gear, add 10 degrees of flaps, add the rest of the flaps as soon as the airspeed gets into the white arc and let the airplane slow to 70 knots. Total time from 130 to 70 knots – 40 seconds. Very fun to do and useful when the controller asks me to keep my speed up.

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