Sign in to follow this  
JerryG

My Real life flight training cont... Just an update...

Recommended Posts

Ok, so since I soloed, I have flown several more times- soloing again (for 5 touch and gos) and a few more flights with my instructor practicing more maneuvers (engine outs, steep turns, stalls, different landing types, etc). My second solo was AWESOME. Much, much better. I greased five landings, and then got really hot and sweaty (I didn't take my jacket off before departing, and even in 30 degrees the plane got hot inside) so that was that.I am adamant about flying to other airports since I feel a bit spoiled at KHVN. 5600x150 and VASI lights. Clear markers for every turn in the pattern. It has become very routine, and I don't feel like I'm learning as much flying around there as I want to. Maybe more wind is what I need now. Or other airports. There is one in particular- I think I mentioned in an earlier post. Chester, CT. Used to be 3B9, now it's KSNC-http://www.airnav.com/airport/KSNCThis 2500 feet strip is on top of a plateau, and is known for direct crosswinds and some nasty turbulence/wind shear. If you are comfortable flying here, you could land anywhere comfortably. I'm not- This is where my brother has done all his primary training and I'm extremely jealous of him for it. I tried to get in with his instructor, but he's so booked I was getting scheduled 3 weeks between lessons- all of which were cancelled due to weather/charter business.This is the only airport I've had to go-around so far. I've landed there several times, but it's not easy- We're talking real seat of the pants flying- Wind shears that knock you 20 feet off your flight path on final. And some nasty turbulence right near the threshold. Last week I put it down after a serious workout, and as I was slowing the plane a nice big gust decided to pick the left wing off the ground so we were riding on just the right main and nose wheel. It completely sucked. Doing touch-and-gos here is just a dumb idea- you have to land, taxi back to the runway, and takeoff again. I've heard of people doing actual touch and gos, but no safe/smart pilot is going to tell you that's a good idea. You don't need a shortfield takeoff since you have 2500 feet- but an engine failure on takeoff here, and you might as well crack open a beer and enjoy your final minute- there is nowhere to land.So I put it in there today, but I came in a little low, and actually put the plane down on the displaced threshold of 17. Oops. I was so worried about my landing I didn't even pay attention to the runway markings. Turns out the whole runway is structurally fine for landing- they made the displaced threshold because they lengthened the runway but didn't want to have to re-certify the runway, so they just made it a displaced threshold instead.And then, since that wasn't exciting enough, we went into Goodspeed airport, which is even more... uh... 'nostalgic' than Chester. If I remember, the runway is 32/14 like KHVN. The airport sits on the Connecticut River a few miles north east of Chester. Pretty much everybody uses 32 to land since there is a massive steel bride across the river about a half mile from the airport. Even landing on 32 has you flying next to some mountains on the river bank (ok, so 500-600 feet is not really a mountain, but in CT that is about all we have). And then you fly right in between some trees on final. Again, not a really amatuer airport. I came in high, since, well, I'm a coward and would rather come in high than close to any mountains or trees. On final I was high enough that I had the throttle on idle, and was still about 67 knots. But I made it down, did a nice short field landing (slam the brakes, keep the nose up and aero brake). Then you have to back-taxi the runway to take off. Funny thing is a sign near the end of the runway says "Pay Landing Fee"- Um, sorry I forgot my wallet :) So taking off here is definately short field/obstacle avoidance (remember the bridge!). So you basically spin the plane around at the very end of the runway so the tail is almost hanging off the runway and line it up- Then, you hold the brakes, put in two notches of flaps (25 degrees), apply full throttle, check the engine instruments are within limits, and let her rip. You rotate at about 50, and climb out at 63. Then, once you've cleared the object, you lower the nose, take out a notch of flaps, accelerate to 79, take out the other notch, and climb out at 79. Not too hard, but a little more to think about than a normal takeoff.Then as we were landing for the day- on a left downwind for runway 20 at KHVN, he kills the throttle and says "engine out". I turn immediately toward the runway and reach for the flap handle. He says "Your flaps are out too". Ok, time to wing it. I kind of just let instinct take over, and turned so I would have a 1/4 mile final and pitched for about 75 (73 is ideal- and if you've flown a real plane you know that ideal what you can realistically achieve/hold in a situation are a different story). I got there, made a sharp turn toward final, and found myself directly on the glideslope at 75/80. I could have chose to pitch for 73, but that might have left me high and needing the slip it in. I didn't feel like wrestling with that today since I haven't done too many slips, so I opted to come in a little hot. Considering the circumstances, I thought I did well. I put it down smoothly, even though with no flaps you float forever. I still got down by the halfway point and turned off.After the flight we always do a quick review, and my instructor thought I did great. My stalls need some practice, and for some reason I've lost my ability to do steep turns. Maybe I'm getting lazy with that stuff, I don't know.Anyway, he told me to start preparing for Cross-Country. Sweet! I can't wait to do my first solo cross country. That is really what I have been looking forward too since I started. Soloing around the airport the first time was really not that great since I was just too nervous. It's a big accomplishment, and memorable, but most pilots will probably say it's not as fun as you might think. I find myself now getting nervous with my instructor in the plane. I look forward to just me, the plane and the open sky on some little journey for no real reason in particular.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Christian,Thanks for the detailed reports/updates!I really enjoy reading about your achievements and journeys.JerryG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this