With Wings As Eagles: Craig P. Steffen's Blog

but that trick never works!

2006 September 18 22:57

lesson 7: August 26

My first pattern/touch and go work. The first part of the lesson, I was always turning late for the final leg. Part of that was my downwind leg was angling in too far. After I worked that out, the latter part of the lesson I was consistently high. My instructor wrote "all flap configurations" in the notes. That's because some of them were really high, forcing me to use all the flaps. :-)

I am now going down the road, 50 mph, sideways

2006 September 18 22:42

lesson 10: September 9

My log book says that we did slips in lessons 5 and 6, and we did. I had the basic idea, which is that you cross-control the airplane to increase its drag and make it descend faster.

However, in lesson 8, we did slips to a landings. I discovered that I really didn't understand slips; I didn't realize how much the airplane was going sideways. I think the reason for that is that we practiced it over a lake, so I didn't have a clear target so that I could understand where I was going. So in lesson 10, I asked if we could do som ore slip practice, this time with a target on the ground. We did that, using an island on the lake as the target to point to. That worked well, and after this lesson, had a much better feel for slips.

The rest of the lessons was touch and goes. In one pattern, we made a 360 on downwind to make landing space for three Stearmans. That was fun.

you must feel the force flowing through you

2006 September 18 22:30

Lesson 12: September 16

For the very first time in flight training, I did a flare that was almost right. In fact, a couple of landings later, my instructor offered to let me solo. I decided not to--since I was just starting to get the feel of flaring, I wanted to re-enforce that and sleep on it before I took the plane myself.

I also did my first real abort this day. The wind blew the nose to the left, and I over-compensated to the right. I ended up too high and all out of kilter. I aborted, which my instructor was pleased about.

It comes after twelve, honey

2006 September 18 22:22

I had my 13th flying lesson today. My total dual instruction time is 13.1 hours. But the winds were too gusty for me to solo today.

The last few lessons have been pattern work, going around the pattern and doing touch and goes (landings into immediate take-offs). The wind was pretty bumpy today, but I was mostly on top of keeping the landings reasonable. There was one that would have been hard if the instructor hadn't done the flare.

I've had 13 lessons and hardly blogged about them at all. I'm going to go backwards and say a few words about some of the lessons.

As I go forward, I will try to blog about lessons more specifically. In the future, things will be more technical and less feel-based, so writing will be make more sense. There's a lot of stuff in the first 10+ hours of flight instrution that are pure feel, and they're very hard to describe.