Well, it’s been a fair while since I last posted. Life’s started getting busier – I’ve been madly doing assignments for uni, looking after the house while my parents are overseas (which takes up more time than you’d think really) and still managing to fit in some flying (yay!).
A fair bit has happened since I posted last – I’ve done some more solo time in the Jab, obtained my passenger endorsement, started my GA training in the Warrior and taken my first passenger for a flight.
Rather than doing separate posts for each flight, I’m just going to do one big update post 🙂
First Warrior lesson – General Handling – 21st August 2010
So this was the first step along the road to obtaining my GA PPL. I was flying with T this lesson (I’m flying with T and K for my PPL). I preflighted (I’d gone out to the airfield the week before for some ground theory and had been shown a preflight then) and after we jumped in (someone should’ve told Mr Piper he could’ve afforded two doors…), I slowly went through the checklist and started it. One thing that I already love about the Warriors – the seats move forwards and backwards! Awesome! 🙂
We went out to the training area for this mission, to just go over some general handling. We did a few medium level turns, climbing, descending and also a few stalls – clean and approach configuration.
The difference in weight of the aircraft was obvious from the start, but it was particularly noticable when doing stalls. It is a lot heavier than the Jab and takes a lot more effort to make it stall. If we keep on doing stalls, I think I’m going to end up with a pretty muscled left arm! 😛
So, basically this mission was simply getting the feel of the Warrior. We didn’t do any circuits this mission, just did a full stop landing. There was a slight crosswind which made things interesting for my first Warrior landing, but I did the landing myself and it wasn’t too bad, so I’m not displeased.
When we were taxiing back, I (despite promising myself that I would not do anything this stupid) tried to turn using the yoke. T was just like ‘You turn with your feet’ and I just shook my head at my own stupidity and said ‘I promised myself I wouldn’t do that!’. It is unbelievably tempting to do it though, I’ve nearly done it a couple more times…who decided that yokes were a good idea?
Local Flights – 22nd August 2010, 31st August 2010
I’ve also been doing some local solo flights in the Jab to build up my solo time. This was mainly just general flying, just enjoying being up there on my own. I still can’t get used to the feeling of calling up and booking a Jab whenver I like, without needing to think about instructor availability.
I also obtained my passenger endorsement on the 31st. 🙂
Second Warrior Lesson – General Handling and Crosswind Circuits – 5th September 2010
My second lesson in the Warrior was with K. First we went out to the training area to do some more general handling.
We did some steep turns in both directions. Interestingly, I find it a lot easier to read the AH in the Warrior than the digital one in the Jab. The steep turns weren’t too bad, although I need to do some work on holding the nose in the correct position during the turn.
We then did a forced landing. K said that I could pull the power whenever I was ready (since, as he pointed out, he knew that I knew how to do one from my flight test, this was just to get used to the glide characteristics of the Warrior). We’d had a discussion about how to work out wind direction during navs when there is no windsock – for example, if there’s smoke around, looking at what direction the smoke was blowing – and worked out that the wind was westerley, so I picked an east-west field to land in and pulled the power. I did a normal approach and when I reached my 1000ft point, K asked which field I was going for. I pointed it out and he was just like “erm….” and then I realised that, even though I’d worked out what the direction the wind was coming from and planned for it, I’d managed to get myself so I was landing with a tailwind and hadn’t even realised! Not my best moment there 😛
After that we headed inbound and I made the inbound call, nearly saying that we were a Jab. I was like “Jab…erm Warrior CCQ…”. Oops! 😛
We also did a few circuits, there was a fair crosswind which made things interesting. I’m not sure the landings were that fantastic, but they were all unassisted, which is a good thing!
First Passenger Flight – 11th September 2010
After obtaining my passenger endorsement on the 31st, I’ve been having some trouble finding people to come as pax (which I expected). They were all very keen before I got the endorsement but now it’s a possibility suddenly they’re not so into it! Either they can’t afford it (which is fair) or they want to wait until I ‘get more experience’ (how they’re going to know when that is, I’ve no idea).
Anyway, my brother bravely volunteered to be my first passenger. I was really nervous before the flight, I was really worried that it would be the one time when something went wrong with the aircraft, and he was nervous because he doesn’t particularly like heights.
Happily, it went really really well though and he enjoyed it. We just went for a fly around the southern end of the training area, just looking at the scenery. I made sure to do all turns to the left, I had to do a right turn to depart upwind and I could see that he wasn’t too keen on being on the low side of the aircraft, so made sure all turns were to the left after that.
So it was lots of fun and he enjoyed it, which I’m really pleased about. He said afterwards that I was very professional and confident and explained everything really well as we went along (yay!) and if any of my friends expressed any doubt about flying with me, to get them to talk to him 😛
Hopefully now one person’s been up with me (and survived the experience) more people will be less dubious about coming with me.
Third Warrior Lesson – 12th September 2010
I was flying with K again this lesson and the plan was to do a lesson of circuits. I added a cushion under me this lesson, I noticed last lesson that I was losing sight of the end of the runway during flare, and was wondering if I might be sitting too low (story of my flying career, huh).
Overall, the circuits didn’t go badly. We did one or two flapped landings then flapless landings for the rest of the lesson.
The main issue that I was having was knowing when to flare. I think that mentally I’m still thinking of the nose positions of the Jab during flare and not compensating enough for the different aircraft. The weight is also a factor, K suggested that after closing the throttle to use two hands on the yoke. He also suggested to trim it during approach so that you essentially need a little forward pressure to get it down, that way you need a lot less pressure to flare.
K said that overall I’m flying the Warrior well, I just need a little more practice on the final landing stages. I’m wondering if I’m thinking too much about the fact that it’s a different aircraft and forgetting to just, well, fly the thing. Next lesson we’re going to do more circuits (working on circuit emergencies like glide approaches).