In which I learn how to start the Jab in cold weather, manage to do half my pre-licence check and fight with the throttle.
For once, the weather gods decided to cooperate and gave me nice weather, so I headed out to Lilydale to do the practical part of my pre-licence check.
I was sent down to the shed (hangar) to preflight 5231. I wandered down there, found 5231 sitting outside the shed, and did the preflight. J wandered down and we jumped in and tried to start it – without much luck. It was cold, so J said that it was time to ‘get out the hairdryers’. For a moment I wondered if he actually meant hairdryers, then I figured it was some slang term for something in the hangar used to warm up the engines. We dragged it over to the hangar, then J grabbed two actual hairdryers. I was just like “You weren’t joking….” So we plugged in the hairdryers and pointed them into the air intakes for the engine to warm it up a bit. Since J had that under control, I walked down to the school to grab a 3rd cushion.
When I got back, we jumped in and tried again to start the engine. We were more successful this time and taxiied over to 36 to take off. We departed upwind and headed out to the training area.
The first thing we went through was a few stalls. I went through the HASELL checks, and after doing the clearing turn, made the decision to fly slightly further away from the nearby town before doing the stalls (PIC move, woo).
The first two stalls were power off stalls in clean configuration. They were fine, although during recovery from the second one I didn’t add the power quickly enough, so we lost some altitude.
The third stall was in the approach confirguration (2000rpm and half-flap) which was fine, no wing drop or anything.
We then tried some steep turns, in each direction. Overall they were good, I got it into the turn and it had that 2G feeling, so it was all good.
After that it was time for some unusual attitudes, with J taking control and putting it into the attitude then me having to take control and recover. We did a few high nose and a few low nose and I recovered well from each one. I made sure I remembered that you had to level the wings before raising the nose when recovering from a low nose attitude, unlike a high nose attitude where you can lower the nose and roll the wings level at the same time.
We couldn’t do any forced landings or circuits today because the throttle was playing up a bit, idling between 1300rpm and 1600rpm even with the throttle pulled fully out.
So we headed back and joined crosswind. We considered trying a precautionary search but decided that it wasn’t going to be possible because of the throttle so instead decided to do a full stop on 36R. I was determined to do the landing myself, to get the experience. We used full flap to slow us down and it turned out to be a pretty nice short field landing! 🙂
Next lesson we’re going to finish the pre-licence check, doing circuits, force landings and a precautionary search. Then, after that, assuming I do well, I’ll be able to book in for my test. Now I just need to hope for good weather!