In which I make PIC decisions, land successfully and get a surprise.
Today’s mission was, again, circuits.
I preflighted 4964, we jumped in and I was told I was going to be given ‘a workout’ today – basically, we were going to try a bit of everything.
I taxiied us to 36, did the final checks and we took off from 36L.
The first circuit was pretty good, if I do say so myself, stayed on height for the entirety of downwind and everything was just working fine. The landing was flapped and unassisted (yay!).
The second landing was also flapped. When we were on final the aircraft that had been in the circuit in front of us was still on the runway and I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be out of the way when we came to land, so I made the call to go around instead, a decision which J agreed with. My PIC skills appear to be improving 😛
The next few circuits were a mixture of flapped and flapless landings. All were unassisted and I am definitely improving in my ability to judge how far above the ground we are (finally!).
During one of these circuits J pulled an EFATO on me. All of the fields in front of us had haybales in them so I just picked the one that seemed to have less haybales than the rest!
The second last landing was a glide approach. However, we didn’t pull the power until we were about to turn base so we were further away from the field than usual. It was clear that we wouldn’t make the runway so we picked a nearby field we’d probably use if it was a real engine failure then used power to reach the airfield. We ended up too high when we came to the runway though, so we powered up and went around.
The final landing was a full stop on 36R, also a glide approach. I had told J at the start of the mission that if he pulled a glide approach, not to make suggestions unless we were about to crash because I needed to force myself to decide what to do (to lose height on the approach) by myself (and I knew I wouldn’t do it if I knew he’d help). I decided to do an S-turn which did lose some height and lined us up with the runway more than before, although we weren’t totally lined up properly. J suggested adding flap and I landed it unassisted.
I taxiied it off the runway and, after doing the after landing checks, was taxiing it back to the flight school. J was filling in the plane’s folder. Then, oh so casually, he said “Drop me off and you can take it around by yourself“…