More circuits

In which I learn that the Jabiru has parts off a wheelbarrow, invent a mini-checklist, feel glad that I’m not learning at Moorabbin and attempt a glide approach.


The plan for today was to do more circuits to consolidate what I’ve learnt so far.

After preflighting 4929 we jumped in and I taxiied us to 18R, nearly completely forgetting to stop to do the pre-takeoff checks (oops! not sure what I was thinking). The front wheel was squeaking a bit and apparantly the wheel bearing for that wheel is the wheel bearing off a wheelbarrow! Gotta love how technological these planes are.

I was a bit worried about using runway 18 again because of the displaced threshold, but it was less of a problem today, I’m not certain why. I think it’s probably a good thing I had to use 18 again so soon though, stopped me from potentially developing some sort of mental block about landing with the displaced threshold…

There was a westerly wind today which meant that it was a total crosswind. This meant that on upwind I had to point the nose to the right to correct for the drift to the left caused by the wind. It also meant that there was a tailwind on base which shortened the base leg – to deal with this, J told me to reduce the power slightly before the base turn so we descended quicker and would end up at the correct height for final despite the shortened base leg.

I also managed to mostly remember to turn the carby heat off on final for the first time today, usually I forget every single time but today I remembered at least 3/6 times I reckon. I figured that I clearly wasn’t remembering it as a single item to do so I decided to make my own mini pre-landng checklist – CUR.

  • C – carby heat off
  • U – undercarriage down
  • R – runway clear

The undercarriage one isn’t really necessary at the moment but I figured it couldn’t hurt to get into the habit of thinking of it for the future, plus it was handy to have a vowel so I could make a word for my checklist. It was interesting to see how much easier it was to remember to turn the carby heat off when I had more than one thing to remember to do. I still forgot a couple of times but it was a definite improvement over last mission.

The first two circuits were flapped landings, both unassisted (yay!). I’m not sure what I was doing differently to last mission with regard to the landings but somehow things were working today. After the second circuit J was like “You’re flying well today” and I was like “I’ve no idea why!”

The third circuit was meant to be flapless but I only remembered that after I’d done a flapped T&G (oops).

The next two circuits were flapless landings. One of them we came in too slowly and landed with a fair thump. I also bounced one but remembered to keep the backpressure on and managed to control the bounce.

The next circuit was the final circuit. After doing the ‘go’ J pulled an EFATO on me. I lowered the nose and managed to pick a gap in the trees edging the fields to head for. Apparantly that was a satisfactory choice so we powered up and kept on with the circuit. I was like “There’s too many trees here!” (because, despite the fact that Lilydale is surrounded by fields, which is handy, all the fields are edged by trees which is rather inconvenient). J pointed out that at least we weren’t flying out of somewhere like Moorabbin which is completely surrounded by houses/factories. I was like “You just need a flat-roofed factory!” (I was joking, well mostly) and J was like “Actually…” Apparantly he used to fly out of Moorabbin and he had an engine failure in a Tiger Moth and nearly had to land on top of a factory – luckily he got the engine restarted about 100ft above the roof! I was like “Wow….” I have no desire to fly out of Moorabbin now!

The final landing for the mission was a glide approach (perhaps J decided I was flying too well and needed a challenge? :)). I turned to the right and headed for the end of the runway. I think I need to ask J about glide approaches again because I’m not really sure how you decide whether to use flaps, s-turns or sideslip to descend. I knew we were too high but wasn’t really sure how to go about correcting it. J suggested lowering flap and I was like “I was about to say, I hope you know I’m going to f*ck this up!” We made the runway but I bounced it a bit on landing. I managed to control the bounce by myself though, which is good. It shows I’m improving I guess! 🙂

I taxiied us off the runway (missing two taxiways on the way…I swear they need to mark them better) and almost forgot to do the after landing checks. For some reason I was rather forgetful about the various ground checks today!

During the debrief J said that I flew well today, particularly considering the fact that there was a complete crosswind and I haven’t had any training in crosswind landing techniques yet. I have no idea why my landings seemed to work better today, especially since I’m still not completely sure how high we are above the runway each time! Overall I’m really happy with this mission though 🙂

I’m down to take the pre-solo air law test next mission, which is rather exciting (in a way, anyway). Apparantly it’s a multiple choice test – I’m like “They’re not trying to make it hard for you, are they?!” Now I just need to remember to study for it!


2 Responses to More circuits

  1. Flyingninja says:

    Great stuff! Definitely looks like you are getting there hey? I’d like to do a few more flapless landings myself… just so I know I can if I had to. So much of this stage of flight training is confidence building, isn’t it? Hey with the Jabiru, is the throttle the push-pull stick or a quadrant-style unit?

  2. Darky says:

    Yeah, flapless landings are a good challenge.

    The throttle is a push/pull stick. There’s one on each side.

    And I agree, it’s all confidence building. Right now things are going more successfully which is good. I’m still not sure why I’m suddenly getting the hang of flaring at the right time, I don’t know what’s changed, so I’m slightly worried that if/when I go solo it’ll all fall to pieces because I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing! Have to wait and see if my success continues over the next few missions I guess! 🙂

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