Not A Good Day AT ALL!!

I’m again late in posting and I apologize. I would like to remind the readers about the quote I had posted a few days ago:

I’m easily frustrated
Let’s be honest: this could be a problem. Learning of any kind has a saw-toothed progression, three steps ahead, two back. In learning to fly, however, it can sometimes be exaggerated: there are days you can’t do anything right and it’s impossible not to get frustrated. That’s not the problem. The problem may lie in what you do about it. If you’re not a dust-myself-off-and-get-right-back-on-the-horse kind of person, maybe you’d be happier doing something with fewer challenges. However, if you like the feeling of coming back and conquering something that has previously defeated you, you’re going to love learning to fly. It’s amazing how great the feeling of accomplishment can be. That alone is reason enough to learn to fly.”

I found this post on the website The Truth: How Hard Is Learning to Fly? , and I would like to bring attention to the reader the bold and italicized text for this is what happened to me last Wednesday (04/25/2012). Jeremy and I discussed as usual as to what we would be covering for the day and everything was fine during that review. I understood everything and asked the pertinent questions. However once we were about to take off, my usual takeoffs which have improved considerably, suddenly weren’t so good. What was happening was this: We had a crosswind coming from the left and so I turned the yoke into the wind completely. Then as we start moving with the throttle in the full position, around 20-30 knots on the airspeed indicator, you begin to turn the yoke in the opposite direction until it’s almost horizontal and by this time the airspeed indicator is showing 55-60 knots. This is the time when you gently pull the yoke toward you and the plane lifts off the ground. That is how a takeoff is executed with a crosswind and that’s what is supposed to happen. But on Wednesday I was moving the yoke too quickly and then realizing I was turning it too quickly, I was turning it back, because I hadn’t yet reached the speed to pull the yoke back. And then, to further compound matters, I was pulling the yoke whilst the yoke it was still mostly turned into the wind! So you can imagine the plane was wobbling and the take off was absolutely terrible. Jeremy had to help me to straighten the plane.

Well somehow we took off and headed North West to the practice area and then it was time to do some slow flight and the Power-on/off stalls. During the slow flight I again had a problem maintaining the three instruments together i.e. Airspeed (54 knots), Altitude (3000 ft) and Heading Indicator (on a heading of North). I was able to maintain any two at a time but not all three at once. Anyway after some practice I got the hang of it and managed to maintain all three. Then the power-off stall went okay but I got a little confused with the power-on stall. I was pulling the flaps during this stall when I knew full well that the power-on stall is during the departure configuration. So after this practice, Jeremy said “Let’s go back and do some landings”. I was a little better today in returning to the airport even though they had taken the Dome (one of the landmarks we use to get back) down. Today we were given the go ahead to land on runway 14R which was a straight landing on to the runway. We began our descent 10 miles from Crystal Airport after I had called in to Crystal Tower informing them that we were 10 miles inbound from the North West. I went through the check list at the proper times and then got the plane into position along the center line of the runway. Jeremy and I had agreed during the review before this flight and the last lesson that the final leg of the pattern would be approached at a speed of 65 knots instead of the usual 70 knots. I was able to maintain this and when I was over the threshold I reduced power to idle, but there was a slight cross wind and I knew that I had to turn the yoke into the crosswind and add opposing rudder to keep the nose straight. I was able to do this, but the final landing seems still to be evading me. We did a couple more landings with similar results.

At the end of the lesson Jeremy said you did well on the checklist and returning to the airport. The Power off stall was good but you got a little confused regarding the Power-on stall. The approach to landings was good but the actual landing is still troubling you. The Slow-flight wasn’t good but you eventually managed it after some time. I agreed and that was the end of the lesson. Jeremy didn’t say anything further about the lesson as he knew that I knew where I went wrong and that I know how to execute these maneuvers. He then said, “I may call you on Saturday to cancel that day as its finals week for me”. “No problem, I understand” I replied.

On my way home all I could think of was my poor performance and the above mentioned quote, but then I thought about the remainder of the quote i.e. that you have to get up and try again, otherwise flying is not for such people. 😀


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