October 29, 2004

First Landing (lesson 5)

Had a long preflight briefing session on taking off, circuits and landing before getting into the air.

an example circuit diagram

Starting off line yourself on the runway (more tricky than it seems – taxying a Cessna 152 is like control a shopping trolley) Remember to do the checks – then full power and make a mad dash down the runway – keeping onto the central line. When at 70kts (approx 80 mph) lift the nose up (called rotation)and then you’re airborne.

The crosswind and downwind legs are straightforward, However on the base leg you need another sets of eyes and hands. Quickly as possible get ready for descent (reduce power,set flaps for landing – oh and don’t forget the carb heat) and then descend. So far so good.

Now you have to keep your speed constant (70kts) and use power to control angle of descent – (I found this quite difficult because its all happening so fast – there’s no time to think) Also you have only got 1 hand on the control wheel (left hand) which is very difficult to make sure you have wings level

As you approach the landing point you reduce power (to idle) and start to bring the nose up. You should aim at the end of the runway and bring the nose up progressively so that the main wheels not the nose wheel lands first. On my first attempt I didn’t bring the nose up quickly enough and we landed with a big thud and proceeded to bounce – Mark had to take over to rescue the situation.(Otherwise we would have continued to bounce higher and higher until the nose wheel and pod would have collaspsed)

Fortunately by my 4th attempt(when it was starting to go dark) I was getting the hang of it and made some reasonably landings.

At the end of the session having completed my first circuit I fet amazing – I have been on air for the last couple of days. Its an amazing confidence builder

- 4 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Helen

    Congratulations. Piece of advice that always comes in useful, do remember to put the landing gear down. My dad's boss's friend landed his at Baginton some time ago without the landing gear and made a lovely mess of the runway!

    29 Oct 2004, 14:02

  2. Aymiee

    Christine.. Congrats!!! Very descriptive, I felt as if I was there!! Kind of scary… my 2nd flight lesson is this Thursday. AHHHH.. Is it just me but the runway just seems confusing. I feel awkward. Until your next lesson..

    30 Oct 2004, 06:08

  3. Steve Rumsby

    taxying a Cessna 152 is like control a shopping trolley

    There's a menu option somewhere to alter the sensitivity of the controls. Oh, sorry, you're talking about a real Cessna:-) I have the same trouble with a virtual 172. Can't make it go in a straight line…

    When at 70kts (approx 80 mph) lift the nose up (called rotation)and then you're airborne

    The 172 (both real and virtual) just floats off the ground all by itself. No rotation required. I didn't actually find this out until I tried the real thing though. Turned out the default settings for my copy of MSFS had the elevator trim all wrong and I didn't know any better, so it would stick to the ground until I lifted the nose.

    Landing MSFS is one thing I find really difficult. I just don't get a decent sense of distance from the single view on the screen, so getting the approach right is hit and miss. I often end up too low too soon and have to increase power to avoid touching down before the runway. Then, just for a bit of variety, a week or so ago I tried a quick circuit like the one in your diagram above and didn't get down fast enough. I ended up running off the end of the runway (oops).

    Just out of interest, when you make the final turn, what's your height and distance from the runway?

    01 Nov 2004, 14:35

  4. Christine Smith

    when you make the final turn - height and distance from runway

    I'm not exactly sure but I think height is ~800ft. I am booked for a lesson this evening but doubt it will be on looking at the weather – will take note and get back to you after next lesson.

    01 Nov 2004, 15:00

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