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Jason Pawlak

Me and my Internet

Husband, Dad, Navy Officer, Coder, and Tinkerer. I have many interests and am always looking to learn something new. This site is a launching point to the many areas of the Internet that represent me.

Flight Lesson 8

Post 40… going on 400… wow, thanks to all who read

This lesson was quite stressful indeed. The thoughts of flying solo looming in all areas reminding me to be thoughtful of how I would do the current procedure if I were there alone… are there any more questions I need to ask? What if this happens? Did I just do that wrong?

We did a lot of touch-and-go’s while also practicing soft field landing/approach and short approach. Short approach gave me the biggest scare yet. We were coming in for landing and I was going slower than usual with thoughts that I needed to slow down quicker. I wasn’t completely sure what this exercise was and that was my big mistake.

There was quite the wind blowing, and it was tossing my little skipper around quite a bit. It was also a beautiful day out, which in turn brought lots of traffic around our continuous pattern. These elements along with the repetitive action of take off, pattern, land, take off, pattern, land, got to me and I made a few mistakes.

As stated before my biggest mistake was not questioning further our current exercise. My brain was telling me, well if you ask more about it, he won’t think you know what you’re doing and get upset with you… but in hindsight that is exactly what needed to be thought about me. We were coming in slow, nose pointed about 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon and descending at 500 feet/minute and 65 knots. That last note was the issue, we were about 15 feet above the ground when Brian jumps to life, grabbing the wheel and telling me to go full throttle, we were going to belly flop the ground, and not softly either. The full throttle helped a little but not enough to keep us off the ground. Our wheels touched and the entire plane jolted under the shock. With full throttle still we accelerated working the flaps up, and me trying to not let my face get too red.

I was completely humiliated. I should have asked for further instructions on our procedure… never again will I make a mistake like that. The feeling of that landing, and the embarrassment that followed didn’t leave me for the rest of the night. I finished with a picture perfect landing, but that isn’t the feeling I left with.

So this morning I went to get my FAA Third Class Medical Examination Certificate, which doubles as my student pilot certificate. Over in Western Hills I went and completed everything just fine except for a past medical history field of my Physical Therapy a year ago. The Doctor wanted a fax from the PT saying I was fine and discharged properly. I leave without my certificate and head to the PT office… unfortunately, sometime in the past year they have closed their Clifton office. With my phone being dead and no pen to write the number on, i started scraping numbers with my stylus into a paper until a nice old lady came by and let me borrow her pen. Once back to the house I gave the PT a call only to hear that my file, since old, is in storage, but she should be able to fax it to them by tomorrow.

So much for flying solo this afternoon…

I am starting to think it is a good thing though. I’ve been getting extremely stressed out with the thoughts of going solo, and the events of this morning didn’t help in the least. I need some breathing time. I have my whole life ahead of me to fly, no need to rush into something I’m not completely mentally prepared for. So I talked to Brian on the phone, and we rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Dan will drop me off, and Brian said he could drive me back home after the lesson. He’s a nice guy, it is a shame he is leaving and tomorrow will be my last lesson with him.

So my hopes are that I am able to get my medical certificate tomorrow and maybe fly solo tomorrow evening. However, I don’t know if the right doctor is in tomorrow, so I might be putting solo on hold until I meet and fly with my new instructor… instructor number 3 that is. I’m averaging 5 hours of flight per instructor, kind of annoying, but they do what they gotta do.

I’m not 100% sure when this solo flight is going to happen, but keep your fingers crossed and maybe say a little prayer tomorrow around 530 to 800 pm.

Remember to breath… I’ve been forgetting to do that a lot lately… Later!

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