I had five flights today with Jim. I drove down to the airport expecting to do more ground training because the weather was pretty shitty sounding. But when I arrived, he was preflighting a glider. So we flew.

The first flight was a test checkride in preparation for my practical test. It went better than the last one a couple weeks back. There were a lot of clouds and I didn't do a very good job of staying away from them on tow. I also let us get too far from the airport, so rather than releasing at 5,000 feet, I turned us back toward the airport until we climbed to 6,000 feet.

Once off tow, Jim asked me to perform slow flight, stalls, and a spin. Strangely, my first spin attempt failed. But I got it spinning normally on the second try. Luckily that's not a flight test requirement. The only thing I really messed up was a bit of speed control (not bad, just not up to Jim's standards) and one of my forward stalls. I inadvertently tried to use the aileron to pick up a dropped wing rather than the rudder. Oops. Damned instincts.

When we got low enough, I got us into the pattern to land on runway 24. I was really focused on hitting the landing zone this time but I managed to get us on the ground about 10-15 feet too soon. Doh!

On our second flight, we went to 2,200 feet hoping to go higher. But the clouds were in the way, so I gut it short. I got to practice a few simple things and it was time to land again. This time I nailed the zone! :-)

That was the first time I ever hit a zone landing with Jim in the back seat.

We then decided to do three more short flights so I could practice a couple more landings. The next two were uneventful. I landing on target and stopped within the allotted distance just fine.

For my last flight of the day, just as we crossed over the 100 foot hill and I said, "we're over the hill, we could turn around and go back" (in the event of a rope break), Jim pulled the release. So I made a 45 degree left 180, got us back over the runway, and landed. No problem.

Posted by jzawodn at March 15, 2003 02:39 PM

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