Well today (03/04/2012) was a much better day than yesterday. It was bright and sunny, no breeze but still cold with a temperature of 7 F (-10C). I arrived at 7.50 am and didn’t see Tim’s car in the car park so I knew he hadn’t arrived yet. After I entered the flight school I found Becky at the front desk who checked me in and then gave me the plane’s folder and the fuel sampler. I went out to do my pre-flight check but couldn’t find the plane that I had booked. I went back to Becky to ask where it was and saw that Tim had arrived and was chatting with her. I greeted Tim and asked Becky, “Do you know where it is, because I can’t find it”. She replied, “Oh it should be in Alpha-2”. Alpha-2 is one of 3 hangars at Thunderbird. I went back out and still didn’t see it because nearly all hangar doors were closed. I saw a couple of other planes but not mine. I returned a second time and said, “I still can’t find it, and asked where Aaron was?” Aaron is the person who pulls out the planes out of the hangars for student’s to fly. “Oh he’s just making a quick run to Target” replied Becky and then called him on the phone and then she said, “Yah he says it’s in hangar Alpah-2”. I went back again and further to other hangars and still couldn’t find it. This time when I returned Tim said, “Oh let me go with you”, but as he was saying that Aaron arrived. I followed him and yes, it was in a hangar that was closed.
After Aaron pulled the plane out of the hangar I did the pre-flight check and returned to the school. Tim was having coffee and chatting with Becky and Aaron, and I returned the fuel sampling bottle to Becky. I wasn’t in an immediate hurry to go out as my hands were very cold and wanted to warm them up. So about five minutes later or so, Tim said, “Shall we go” and I replied in the affirmative and then Tim asked, “Do you want to do flight pattern work here or go to Anoka?” I decided to go to Anoka as it has a 5,000 ft runway that I could practice my takeoffs and landings on.
After we boarded the plane we took off from Thunderbird Runway 32L and then once we were up in the air Tim said “Go on a heading of 060 and that should take us to Anoka”. Anoka is in the North East direction from Crystal. Tim then called Anoka Airport and requested permission to do some touch and go’s and we were granted permission to do so on Runway 27L. On our way to Anoka, I asked Tim if would be okay to teach me next weekend as his Lasik surgery appointment was on March 9th. “Oh yes its good you reminded me about that, I will ask Steven to teach you on that weekend as I want my eyes to have plenty of rest and take it easy”. I agreed.
We practiced about 20 takeoffs and landings and after we were finished, and it was time to go back to Crystal at around 9.45 am, Tim said, “You’re definitely improving, you’ve got the Pattern work down, you just have to fine tune your final landings and then you’ll be fine”. I myself noticed that my Pattern work was much better now, and it didn’t seem to be rushed and it was almost perfectly rectangular. Before it seemed as if I was trying to do so many things at one time and I would be focusing on keeping the plane straight, or forgetting to pay attention to airspeed, or forgetting to pull the flaps etc. Now it all seemed to be easy and not as rushed and I did everything as it was supposed to be done as far as the pattern work was concerned. It’s just the final landings i.e. the touch down on the runway that I need to master still. According to Tim, I’m making safe landings but I’m either landing the plane on all the three wheels or occasionally bouncing. A number of landings were great, where the plane is supposed to land on the back two wheels first then the nose is supposed to touch the runway. Anyway, I was quite pleased with my performance today. 😀