All entries for October 2004

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

October 18, 2004

Lesson 4 – Biggles is me

Well just had lesson 4 – the review and everything went right. Decided right from the off just to relax and it worked. Feeling much more confident now again. However it was slightly worrying that I seemed to be ‘spot on’ when I ingnored the instructions and did my own thing.

Next lesson should be exciting – circuits (and bumps)

October 04, 2004

Flying Lesson 3 – When it all went wrong

This lesson didn’t go well, not well at all

My instructor (M) was a 1+1/2 hours late (not at all his fault though) which meant that my Fri lunch time flight ended up taking 3 hours and I had stay late Fri and come in Sat to make up time.

Today’s new activity was slow flight, i.e just above stall speed. Note A stall when flying – means loss of lift followed by rapid descent toward earth (not engine cut out). You need to have several hours practice at slow flight and stall recovery for licence.

The lesson started to go badly straight from the off – My taxing was awful and once in the air couldn’t get the basics right. After 10 mins or so I was getting really frustrated with myself.

Then onto the whole point of the lesson – slow flight. When flying very slowly you have to point the nose upwards to get maximum lift. But this is a really strange as you can’t see the horizon so it felt very disorientating. But more importantly was the effect of controls – because of (yep I forgotton why – must look it up) the controls are so sloppy – massive movement of controls to get any movement in air – really hard work. Again I didn’t feel I was any good. After about 30 minutes wallowing around not knowing where I suddently felt very sick (again) so having made a couple of pointed remarks to instructor we decided to go back to base.

After landing and taxing back to base had chat to M about my progress. Basically I feel that he is pushing me too hard and that I need to have a couple of revision lessons. Apparantly the idea is to learn lots of things at once rather than try and perfect any one technique. So next lesson will be stall recovery

Once inside feeling totally dejected M told me not to be so hard on myself and to learn to relax more but how do you relax when you are concentrating so hard? Any relaxation tips not involving drugs or alcohol?

After lesson I was was feeling like I might give up at this point. I didn’t have any fun at all. You can tell how bad I felt about the lesson as I could only just face blogging it now

I’m hoping that I have a better lesson next time and get some confidence back

October 2004

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Most recent comments

  • Good blog! Glad you got back in the air again. I am also doing circuits at the moment (at Southend) … by Dave on this entry
  • I think I left a comment back when you were still flying in 2004; glad to see you back in the air! by Fred Woodbridge on this entry
  • Good luck with the lessons. Ciruits will soon become a matter of habit and will give you a chance to… by Tony Harrison-Smith on this entry
  • too scary for me :–) by Christine Smith on this entry
  • Hello. Go for the wingsuit – … by Paul on this entry

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