Wednesday’s Flight Lesson

Last Wednesday (04/11/2012) I had another flight lesson with Jeremy. I arrived at 8.55 am and the weather was beautiful although a little cold, the visibility was good. I didn’t see Jeremy so I assumed that he may not have yet arrived or he may be with another student. So I checked in with Mary and she handed me the airplane’s folder and the fuel sampler for me to pre-flight. I thanked her and left to pre-flight. By the time I returned ten minutes later I saw Jeremy was chatting with another instructor. We greeted one another and Jeremy apologized for being a little late. He then said let’s go in to the office and I’ll show you what we will be covering today.

Jeremy began by saying that we’ll cover the slow flight maneuver again, stalls and the emergency landing procedure. Since we had already covered the first two maneuvers, he proceeded to explain what the emergency procedure entailed. He asked me what I thought would constitute an emergency. “Engine failure or a fire”, I replied. He agreed and then said, “These are the steps you need to take if you should find yourself in that awful situation i.e. for now we’ll only cover partial or complete engine failure”:

1. A – Airspeed. You should know that for the plane you’re learning to fly, the Piper Warrior, the best glide speed is 73 Knots. So the first thing to do is to pitch for this speed.

2. B – Best landing area. Look for an open area to land the plane.

3. C – Check list. The flow check i.e.

  • Carburetor heat on
  • Fuel pump on
  • Mixture set to rich
  • Primer in and locked
  • Magnetos check

Assuming the engine does not restart do the following:

  • Squawk 7700
  • Set Mixture to idle/cutoff
  • Master switch off
  • Seat belts secure
  • Open the doors i.e. crack the doors.

Once this was explained Jeremy asked if I had any questions and I didn’t have any so we proceeded to board the plane to execute these maneuvers.

Upon our return Jeremy stated that I had performed the steep turn maneuver very well, but I had a little difficulty in multi-tasking as demonstrated in the slow flight maneuver. During slow flight you have to keep your altitude between +/- 100ft, airspeed should be +/- 10 knots (the minimum is 44k and you cannot go below this figure so you must maintain airspeed at 54k-55k), wings should be level, and you have to add back pressure to maintain altitude and reduce speed. These were many things to do and each time I ended up doing a good job with all of them except one. When I focused on the one I was finding difficult to maintain, I would lose some other instrument. The emergency landing was demonstrated by Jeremy and I’m sure he will ask me how to do this maneuver in tomorrow’s lesson. He continued and said that I was much better with the check lists, that is, I had executed them when I was supposed to. He concluded by saying that my progress was slow and was hoping that I would have been further ahead by now. He suggested that I should do more armchair flying and suggested a book that he was reading called: Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying, and that I should read this book also. With this, our session ended and I went home and ordered the book from Amazon. It had excellent reviews and I’m eager to start reading it and have high hopes that it will improve my flying skills. 😀


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