You’re still a bit inconsistent!


After my performance in yesterday’s lesson and although it wasn’t great, I was a little revved up and looking forward to continuing from where I left off. I had also studied a little more on Landings and Takeoffs. It was once again a cool day with a temperature of about 45 F, cloudy and the sun was trying to peep through the dark grey clouds. Yes, it had rained early this morning at around 4.00 am, and as I arrived for my lesson I could see the clouds clearing slowly.

I immediately completed the necessary paper work and went out to do the Pre-Flight Check (i.e. the Walkaround) so that I would have maximum time to practice Landings and Takeoffs. I saw Tim and said hello and he acknowledged, but I didn’t speak further as he was already conversing with one of the mechanics. After I returned from my Pre-Flight Check, Tim was finishing off his conversation with the mechanic and said, “I’ll be with you in a moment” with a smile. He then went into his office and got his headphones and said, “Let’s go”. We took off towards Anoka Airport and as we were nearing Anoka, Tim once again requested permission from Anoka Tower if we could do “Stop-and-Go’s”. We were given permission to do so, again on runway 32 L with Right Turn Approach.

So without going in to too much detail as you probably know the drill by now, I made successive efforts to make landings and takeoffs. Please remember that landing is not just the actual landing of the plane on the runway. It’s the entire Air Traffic Pattern (i.e. the rectangular path) with the various heights, airspeeds, the flap controls and the approach (too high, too low, too fast or too slow)  during this pattern, all the way to actually finally landing the plane and coming to a halt. I must say that each time I would forget something, or go out too far from one of the Air Traffic Pattern legs (i.e. Upwind, Crosswind, Downwind, Base and Final), or I would come in too slow, or too fast, or suddenly pull on the yoke as we were close to touching the runway thereby causing the plane to fly back up again before Tim would help to land it, or forget to pull the flaps at the correct times, or something, something, something! As you can probably realise I’m even getting a little frustrated writing about it. I was saying to myself, “Goodness I will never learn at this rate” and I remembered that I had verbally said these very same words to my driving instructor when I was learning to drive. He, at that time replied, “Well you don’t want to learn at this rate,  you need to be better”. And he was right. So when I heard Tim say, “You’re still a bit inconsistent”, I was very disappointed, fully knowing that I was inconsistent, but to hear it from your instructor, to receive that validation, for me was demoralizing. I’m not blaming my instructor but just wondering when will I learn? How long will it take for me to learn to land a plane? How long does it take on average? What’s the least amount of time taken to learn it? What was the longest time? Etc, etc, etc.

Tim was not able to stay after class for me to discuss my progress as he had a Check Ride for a multi-engine plane immediately after my lesson. So in conclusion, today was probably the worst day I’ve had since I started my flying lessons. I was quite disappointed with myself and maybe even disappointed my teacher, I don’t know. The only progress I suppose I made today was to find out that I need much, much more practice.

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