In which I do a glide approach, fly some more solo circuits and discover that I talk to the plane.
Today’s mission was circuits again. The plan is to stay in the circuit until I have 3 hours of PIC circuit time up, then we can ditch off to the training area again.
I preflighted 4964 and rounded up a third cushion.
The first part of the mission was some dual circuits. J warned me that many students go backwards a bit after their first solo so hopefully I’d be able to do some more solo time but it wasn’t guaranteed. I taxiied us to 36 and did the takeoff.
The first two approaches was flapped and, although not fantastic, certainly weren’t too bad.
After the second ‘go’ J pulled an EFATO on me. The fields in front of us had a row of trees running through them so they were unsuitable. Just to the right was a field that had enough space to land so I picked that one. J said that it was probably the best choice out of the surrounding fields but you’d need to drop some flap in order to make it.
During downwind on this circuit J also pulled a glide approach. I turned towards the runway and got us lined up with the threshold. I started with an S-turn which got us fairly well lined up with 36L. We were still a bit high so I tried a very half-arsed sideslip – partly because I had a sudden doubt about how to actually go about sideslipping (I’m thinking next time I have some solo time, I’ll purposely end up slightly high on final to practice sideslipping). I then lowered the first stage of flap (at J’s suggestion) and we made the runway.
The next circuit was a flapless full stop on 36R. After landing, J told me to drop him off at the school and I could take it up for 3 circuits by myself (yay!) I was to do a mixture of flapped and flapless landings and just have fun 🙂
It was just me and ’64. I taxiied over to 36L, lined up and did the takeoff. It was starting to get a bit bouncy up there, especially on downwind.
I decided to do the first landing flapped. It wasn’t the best landing, but it was definitely better than my last solo landing! I still need to get better at my rudder control after landing though.
The second landing was flapless which worked much better in the slightly bumpy weather conditions. It felt like I touched down on the right wheel first then the left shortly after but overall it wasn’t too bad.
I decided to do the final landing flapless as well. It was a smooooth landing, not quite a greaser but pretty smooth! I gave ’64 a pat to celebrate 😛
I’ve discovered that I chat to ’64 as we’re going around. We’re becoming a good team I reckon, me and ’64 🙂
I taxiied back to the school and shutdown the plane. I wandered back to the school, told J I didn’t crash so it all went well and booked my missions for February. It’s interesting to see just how much cheaper it is now I’m doing some solo – I flew a total of 1.1 today which, all dual, would cost about $214-$230. Half dual and half solo, it cost me $190.
I’ve noticed I’m mentally approaching landings differently now. Before I usually got to base/final and started thinking ‘oh no, it’s time to land’. Now I ‘know’ that I can do it, so I approach it with a mindset of ‘ok let’s do this!’
I’ve now got 0.8 hours PIC out of the 3 hours I need before we can ditch the circuit. J said hopefully next mission we can increase the amount of time I do solo, which would be pretty exciting 🙂 Solo circuits are lots of fun but I reckon it’ll be nice to get out of circuits soon!