Today I flew with Brett in the DG-1000. In an effort to kill two birds with one stone, I put him in the front seat so that my flights could finally earn me a back seat checkout (which I'd been meaning to do for about six months now).

We took a 5,800 foot tow the first time to practice spins. First, he asked me to do a few stalls just to see which wing drops. Each time we came fairly close to spinning. Then, after I was comfortable with that, we did the real thing. First a spin to the left for two full rotations. Then a spin to the right with two rotations. My recovery was a little sloppy on the first one. I was going 100 knots when I pulled out. I managed to recover the second one at a much more respectable 80 knots.

From there I tried slipping the glider a bit to see how it behaves. And, to my surprise, you really can't slip it with full rudder. The DG's massive rudder overpowers your efforts and the glider will start to pivot in the rudder direction until the tail stalls. Then the nose drops until the tail begins to fly again. It's quite odd but not a big deal once you know about it.

I wanted to do a slip to landing, but the fire tankers were using runway 31 heavily, so I did a normal landing on runway 24. It'd been a while since I landed the 1000 from the back seat so I was a little bit off on my flare height, but not too much.

Our second flight was just a 1,400 foot tow so that I could fly a full slip to landing on runway 31. I thought it'd be harder than it was, but the DG-1000 behaves pretty well once you've got a moderate forward slip going. Plus, all the practice in the Grob seemed to carry right over to this ship.

Our final flight was just going to be another pattern, but I had felt some bumps earlier, so we headed into the hills to look for lift. We got off tow near Santa Ana peak at 4,200 feet and found some lift. From there we spent the next 45 minutes wandering about the hills and finding enough lift to stay aloft and even climb a few hundred feet at times. The lift was strong but the lift areas were quite small. The high clouds prevented the ground from really heating up, I guess.

When it was time to landed, we decided to use 24 so that it'd be easier to park the glider where it belongs. Brett wanted me to practice a steep approach--no spoilers until we're on final. However, on base he opened the spoilers and said "your spoilers are stuck open this much." So I adjusted the pattern and landed just fine.

All in all, it was a fun day. Spin training always made me a bit apprehensive, but it was just fun this time. I look forward to trying it again someday when there's a bit too much altitude to burn off slowly and the CG is just right.

From here, there really isn't much more flying practice I need. I do need to spend some time studying for the written test. And I'll probably fly a couple of simulated check rides with a different instructor (probably Drew--he grades toughest) before doing the Real Thing.

Posted by jzawodn at September 23, 2004 09:59 PM

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