More circuits

In which I add a third cushion to the pile, my Instructor compares himself to the Fonz, my landings improve and I accidentally manage to convince my Instructor that I don’t know my left and right.


The mission for today was, yes, yet more circuits.

I preflighted 4964 and we jumped in. Today we were going to try me using a third cushion, this one under my bum to make me a bit taller. As soon as I climbed in I could tell the difference – the cushion didn’t seem that thick but it definitely made me a fair bit taller. Interestingly, it also made it easier to move the rudder pedals, not entirely sure why.

We were using 18L today since 18R was out of action. During the pre-takeoff checks, I was checking the flaps and once they were fully deployed, they stopped working. I told J who leant over and hit the wall behind me (easier for him to reach than me). It took a couple of tries but we got it working – J claimed he was “pulling out his Fonzie moves” 😛

I did the takeoff on 18L. Already I noticed something different with this new cushion – I usually rest my arm on the armrest but with the new cushion I could just rest my elbow on it. I guess this encourages me to make more positive control inputs!

The first circuit was a flapped approach. I thought we were higher above the runway on flare than we were (how many times have I said this I wonder?) and we touched down before I expected it and it felt like we touched down on all 3 wheels (although it was a very smooth touchdown). J was like “That was your best landing yet!” and I was just like “Don’t get too excited, it was an accident, I didn’t realise we were that close to the ground!” 😛

The next landing was also flapped, with a slight bit of assistance from J. As there was a slight crosswind, we were drifting a bit to the right so needed to add a bit of left aileron when landing – land on the left mainwheel, then the right and then the nosewheel.

The next landing was also flapped and I tried to add the bit of left aileron. I thought I was adding left aileron but for some reason we were rolling to the right and ending up touching down on the right mainwheel first. J was just like “The OTHER left :)”

The next few landings were flapless. On one of them I rolled a bit to the left when I should’ve rolled to the right (the wind had moved) – I think I’ve managed to (accidentally) convince J that I don’t know left from right! I do know them apart, I swear…..

During one of these circuits, J pulled an EFATO. I lowered the nose and decided to head slightly to the left, to a gap in the tree line. I didn’t hold the nose down properly though, I raised it slightly before lowering it again (not sure why).

The second last landing for this mission was a glide approach. I turned around to head towards the runway and held the nose up to get the speed down to 65kts. The main problem I have with glide approachs is deciding when and what to do to get the height down. This time we did an S-turn, lowered full flap and a sideslip, but J had to suggest which one to do. I think next time I need to tell him to not say anything unless we should go around or we’re about to crash – that way I’ll force myself to decide what to do and when to do it by myself.

The final landing for today was flapped. It seemed to all be working but when I pulled the last smidgen of power we were clearly a bit higher than I thought we were because we dropped down onto the runway with a slight thump. Overall it wasn’t too bad though.

During the debrief, J said this was definitely the best I’ve flown so far, and I agree. I feel like I’m actually making progress again, the last few lessons I’ve been rather disappointed with how I’ve been going but now things seem to be going really well again. I’m looking forward to having another crack at it on Saturday 🙂


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