Using Trim…


Sunday (05/13/2012) was almost identical to Saturday in terms of the weather; bright and sunny with calm winds. Jeremy said that we could go and do some maneuvers today and then return to do a couple of landings. He then asked if I had any questions or if I wanted to review anything before flying. I said yes I would like to review some of the maneuvers. “Ah okay” said Jeremy as he began walking towards his office. I followed and as I sat down Jeremy leaned against the table and said, “Trim. I haven’t seen you use Trim that much. I spoke with Sarah and she was saying that your climbout wasn’t straight. I know you’ve been having problems with that. She was saying that you dipped and then rose and then dipped and rose. The climb out should be a continuous straight line as you rise from the runway” said Jeremy as he drew a diagram of the runway and a straight line marking the path of the climbout on the board to make it clear. “You should be using Trim all the time”. “I have used Trim, but I didn’t know that I could use it to climbout” I replied. “Oh yes! I’m using Trim all the time. It stabilizes the plane and eases pressure on your arms” he said and continued, “So today I would like to see you using trim as much as you can. Also don’t be so aggressive with the plane; you have to make gentle and slight changes. Flying is all about finesse” he concluded. Then we reviewed some of the maneuvers that did not require windy conditions i.e. the ground reference maneuvers were not reviewed.

Once in the air, we flew out to the practice area and began with the slow flight maneuver. This involves using back pressure on the control wheel to reduce airspeed and to maintain altitude. So I used trim to reduce the back pressure, and it was a great relief on the arms! I was able to maintain Airspeed, Altitude and Heading that much more easily as I performed the slow flight maneuver. I trimmed more as I needed it. As I was losing altitude I had to add more power (throttle), and in an effort to this I began losing airspeed so I had to adjust the control wheel to maintain airspeed. After I continued with this maneuver for a while, I next did the Power-on and Power-off stalls, and then Steep Turns. None of these needed me to use trim, but then on the way back to Crystal airport, when we were in cruise flight, I used trim again to maintain speed and altitude, making only slight adjustments with the yoke as needed.

Next Jeremy asked me to take us back to the airport. “When I say to you take us back to the airport, I want you to do whatever you have to take us back. I don’t want you to rely on me to tell you what to do and when to do it. That means you will call Tower, you’ll get the ATIS information, go through the check list when you have to etc.” “Okay” I replied. So the first thing I noted was that we were 10 miles to the North West of Crystal airport as I could see the 10 mile lakes on my left. I tuned into 124.475 MHz frequency on the radio to get the ATIS information. Once I had this, I then switched frequencies to the Crystal Tower frequency of 120.7 MHz and called in: “Crystal Tower, Warrior Five Three Six Papa Uniform, 10 miles inbound from the North West”. I immediately received a reply from Crystal Tower, “Warrior Five Three Six Papa Uniform, Runway 35L Left Downwind”. I reduced power and allowed the nose to drop and as I began my descent, I next went through my descent check list. Then I had to get into position to land on runway 35L. Again, like yesterday this landing went smoothly as there was hardly any wind. I used trim on Final and came in with an airspeed of 65 knots.

I was instructed by Tower to turn left off the runway and to contact ground point. I turned left and went past the hold short lines and went through my after landing check list. Next I changed to Ground Frequency of 121.6 MHz and said, “Crystal Ground, Warrior Five Three Six Papa Uniform at Alpha request Taxi to Thunderbird”. Seconds later I received the following reply from Crystal Ground, “Warrior Five Three Six Papa Uniform, Taxi to Thunderbird via Alpha Echo”. I repeated back the instructions indicating that I understood. I slightly increased the throttle to get us moving and kept this level of the throttle and soon we were at Thunderbird. One of my problems has been taxiing too fast, but this time I kept that in mind and Jeremy said that this was a good speed for taxiing. Final thing to be done after the plane was parked was to go through the shutdown check list. And that was the end of the lesson.

“Tiger I will be going home next weekend, so if you want to fly you can either find someone to fly with over the weekend or I can assign you someone” said Jeremy. “I’ll leave it to you do that” I replied. I thanked Jeremy and shook his hand. He said, “Good job today” with a smile. “Thanks!” I replied with huge grin. I’m not accustomed to hearing that. On my way home I thought, “Hey wait a minute, I could ask Tim to fly with me over the weekend” 😀 “It would be great to fly with him again”. So I decided that I would try to make arrangements for flying with Tim.

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