Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Flight 11 - It was touch and go for a bit

No, really, it was. 

Despite some menacing storms and winds to the west that were headed this way most of the afternoon, I was able to get another 1.1 in the logbook. The storms dissipated or went north/south of us, and by the time we put 34Q in the hangar, the sky was mostly clear to the west with a few clouds that ended up creating a beautiful sunset. 

The order of the evening was practicing landings, with the expectations set that we might have to cut it short if the weather moved in. Winds were out of the Southwest (left front quartering crosswind on RWY 27) at around 6 kts, which was just about right if you ask me. 

All-in-all, I did 9 landings. Just a little assistance from my instructor on the first (got a little squirrely after I put full throttle back in, fishtailed a few times), but the other 8, he was completely hands (and feet) off. Anyone who knows me will tell you I do NOT like to toot my own horn, but I will tonight. He was so pleased by the third touch-and-go he was actually clapping on the climbout. 

One landing, I porpoised just a bit, and he was about to step in, but didn't. I actually goosed the throttle a bit on the way back down to flare then brought it immediately back, to minimize the vertical speed of the porpoise effect. He was talking me through what I was doing wrong, "No don't put more power in. You need to..." stopped mid sentence, watched me land, and said, "Whoah, that was a good landing though." On climbout, almost sounding intentionally bewildered, he said, "Man, that turned out to be a great landing. How the heck did that happen," he chuckled. I realized he was more wanting me to explain what I did rather than actually being unsure how I salvaged the approach into a good landing. 

The last three landings, I was challenged with "I'm not here. I'm not even in the cockpit." For all intents and purposes, he wasn't. In addition to being hands-off as he had been, he was totally silent for most of the remainder of the lesson.

It's weird. He told me 2 flights ago "Don't ask me why, but the next time we do this, It'll click, you'll get it. I don't understand why, but it always happens that way." 

I don't count last week's landing into that equation due to the emergency, so I apply that to tonight's lesson and say, well, he was right. It just clicked. 

Obligatory Skyhawk Selfie:

Oh, and that alternator failure from last week? Turned out to only be a loose wire. 34Q was back in the air the next day. 

G'night friends. 

Two Victor Uniform is clear of the active.

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