Stalls, Steep Turns & Forced Landings

In which I start flying dual again, refuel without messing anything up and do some more work on stalls, steep turns and forced landings.

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Today’s mission was back to flying dual.

I preflighted 4929 then taxiied over to refuel. Happily, for the first time, I managed to refuel without messing anything up at all (yay!).

J came out, we taxiied over to 36 and I did the takeoff on 36L, departing upwind for the training area.

We started off with a few stalls, in clean power-off configuration. J commented that I was tending to ‘zoom upwards’ when going into the stall and climb a little. Instead I should aim to continue flying level and just slowly raise the nose as the airspeed drops. I did a few more clean stalls, then moved onto trying a few in the approach configuration (200rpm and half flap).

After that, we moved onto steep turns. The first one was a steep turn to the left, which was fine. Then we moved onto steep turns to the right, which I’d been having some trouble with when solo. I tried one but couldn’t get it into the turn properly, so J took over to demonstrate one. He said that I wasn’t holding enough backpressure during the turn which was allowing the nose to drop – instead you need to hold backpressure and pretty much ‘pull’ the aircraft through the turn. You need to pick a nose attitude and hold that attitude, if you do then the performance (height, speed, power) will stay the same during the turn. I tried a few more times with far more success, it’s a lot easier when you start thinking of it as ‘pulling’ it through the turn.

Soon it was time to head back as it was starting to get darker. On the way back J pulled the power for a forced landing. I picked a field and flew the approach. There was what looked like a model aircraft flying around nearby so I kept an eye on that as I flew the approach. After powering up we headed back to the airfield.

I joined the circuit on crosswind and went around the circuit to do a full stop on 36R.

As we were taxiing back J commented that I need to verbalise what I’m doing as I go through the pre-stall (HASELL) and forced landing checklists since FI’s aren’t psychic so can’t tell what we’re thinking but need to know we’re doing it properly (which is fair). I hadn’t realised I wasn’t verbalising the checks, I guess I stopped doing that when I was flying solo (since I didn’t have anyone to tell), so I’ll have to make sure I start doing it again next time.

Next lesson we’re starting on precautionary search & landing which should be good fun 🙂

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