Circuits & Short-Field Landings

In which I sit the radiotelephony test, do some circuits and try to get the hang of short-field landings.


I arrived a bit early for my lesson today, to do the radiotelephony (RT) test, which is one of the requirements for the RA-Aus certificate. I got 20/20 so it was all good 🙂 I’ve arranged to have a crack at the Human Factors test tomorrow, then (I think) I’ll just have the BAK to do.

I was given the folder for 4964, went out and preflighted it then taxiied over to refuel (once again, doing it without messing it up!). They changed the checklists in the Jabs, now they include a preflight checklist and have a different layout and the checks are in a different order. I found it rather confusing to work out which box of checks I needed to be looking at, it’s going to take a bit of getting used to really.

J came out, we taxiied over to 36 and took off from 36L. The first landing was a flapped landing. For some reason (don’t ask me why) when it came time to flare I…didn’t, well not properly anyway. Not idea what was going on in my mind to be honest! So it definitely wasn’t a good landing.

The next landing was a flapped landing as well, just to make sure I didn’t lose my confidence after my previous mishap. This one was definitely better than the previous one, but it could still do with improvement.

The next time around we tried a short-field landing. This landing was unbelievably bad, I will freely admit that. I would half argue it was closer to a crash than a landing! 😛 The touchdown was pretty heavy and we bounced and I swore more than I have for a while (I’ve been trying to stop swearing). I apologised to J – both for the landing and the swearing! It was the most atrocious landing I’ve done for a while. Plus after the bounce, I hadn’t held enough backpressure on – I think it was partly the force moving my arm forward, so if it happens again I need to make a conscious effort to hold the backpressure.

The next few landings (all short-field) weren’t exactly fantastic, but they certainly weren’t as bad as the first one!

On the final landing for the mission, J took control to demonstrate a short-field landing so I could get a better idea of the sight picture I’m meant to be aiming for. I think when I was doing it I might have been coming in a bit fast, which didn’t help my chances. One thing that I also need to get used to, is the higher nose attitude during flare that you need for a short-field landing – less finesse, more planting it on the runway.

One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been flying in the afternoons is having to deal with the different sun position – at times on approach, it can be difficult to make out the runway which makes things a little more difficult. It may mean that it takes me slightly longer to get the hang of short-field landings but I like that I’m getting experience in these different conditions, it can only help me in the long run.

Next mission we’re going to have another session of short-field landings and I’m going to get there a bit early to sit the Human Factors test. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll have more luck with the short-field landings or, at least, avoid anymore landings like my first short-field one today!

Today, 22/05/10, marks one year of flying for me – I took my TIF on 22/05/09. It’s been a year of adventures, as I try to get my head around learning how to control an aircraft. I’ve gone from knowing absolutely nothing at all about aircraft, to flying an aircraft solo – rather a big move really. I may not have my certificate yet (soon!) but I prefer having more experience beforehand than getting myself into trouble afterwards. I honestly can’t believe it’s been a year – it seems like it hasn’t been that long and also seems like it’s been longer.

This is also marks one year of this blog. I’ve tried blogs before and they’ve never lasted a week, so I’m impressed that this one has lasted a year – and I’ve no plans to stop now! 🙂


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