Two days of flying in a row, crazy fun!
On Wednesday, we flew for 1.1 hours practicing slow flight, stalls, steep turns, the hood and a few touch-and-go’s. I wasn’t very happy at all with my touch-and-go’s. The first two Brian had to grab the controls to help me onto the ground, but the third and final landing, I did completely on my own. I think that was the first one that was completely on my own without any hands on any controls from the instructor side of the plane. It was a rough one though, and then I could get enough right rudder down to keep us on the center line and we were veering quite badly onto the far left of the runway. Must have been quite the sight from the tower… but hey, they know I’m a student. Leaving my lesson on Wednesday I was feeling kind of disappointed with the way my flight ended with the bad landing… Thursday would quickly change that.
Neither Wednesday or Thursday were the clearest of days. The air was nice and smooth and the sun was sure out full in all its glory shining brightly right into my eyes (I really need to find my sunglasses). Yesterday, Thursday, we were just going to repeat our maneuvers from the lesson on Wednesday. We took off 21L and went up to 4000 feet to do our maneuvers out a little east of East Fork Lake. Nothing too exciting, more stalls and other fun things. The stalls aren’t nearly as scary as I expected. Flying on the computer, the nose of the animated plane violently flings itself towards the ground, but in the real plane, the plane starts to shake with the stall and loses altitude, nothing to take your breath away. The lesson was going well, we were up at 4500 feet and further east than we’ve ever been. I tell you south-east Ohio… not much there. It was great for our emergency landing practice. Brian reached over and said, “Guess what… you just lost your engine…” then he pulled the throttle all the way back and I picked a field to land in. About 500 feet AGL we went full throttle back up to 3500 for a nice trip back to Lunken.
Back at Lunken after an expert conversation over the radio, I brought us into the Left base of 21L and soon after turned into Approach. “Full Throttle, go around…” Huh? Ok, Brian says to do it so I do it. We get past the field and I ask “Did they tell us to do that or did you decide?” “I decided… you were going to land on the wrong runway…” Whoops! haha… I felt pretty stupid, especially when we radioed in to tell them we were going around, the ATC responded with “Skipper 2-9-Delta Proceed to right patter for 2-1-Right, that’s Right, 2-1-Right…” Yeah, I think she got her point across :-) We went around the right pattern for 21R and came in for a touch-and-go. I was a little high above the glide slope and set the throttle to idle and descended at 1000 ft/min to find the red over white. Once proper, pushed the throttle and aimed for the beginning of the runway at a descent of 500 ft/min. About five feet above the ground, I pitched the airplane up for its flair bringing its tires to a light screech on the runway… “Perfect! Very well done!” were the words from Brian. He flipped up the flaps, I throttle full and we raced down the runway rotating at 65 knots gliding up over the trees, and turning right over the Ohio River to follow the pattern. The following touch-and-go and the final landing were just as good, if not better. I was feeling very good about my success for the day and couldn’t keep the smile off my face.
While in the office after our flight, Brian surprised me with saying “So one or two more lessons and you’ll be ready to solo…” WHAT!? I thought I had to do 20 hours with an instructor first. Apparently not… 20 hours eventually, but you can solo whenever your instructor feels you are ready and you can pass a small open book test. I am crazy excited about this now. I have a lesson next Tuesday and then on Thursday hopefully I’ll solo. I want to invite my family and a few friends over to witness my first solo flight, maybe get some pictures and video :-) So next lesson we are just going to do touch-and-go after touch-and-go… I’m looking forward to it! I also have to get a FAA third class physical done before I can solo, so I have a few doctors I need to call today.
Wow, long winded post… if you made it this far, congrats! I’m very excited about soloing if you can’t tell. I’ll keep you posted as always… Cheers everyone, my hopes are that next Thursday calls for a drink!