Today's lesson was rescheduled from Wednesday (see Lesson #3) when we had magneto problems. However, just before I arrived the right brake on the Citabria we were to fly gave out and Al needed at least an hour to work on it.

Again all the other Citabrias were busy, so Dave suggested we take up the Champ instead (see aircraft). The Champ is an ancestor of the Citabria but is lighter and has a smaller engine (85HP in this case).

While I'm not fond of the heel brakes, I found the Champ easy to fly. It's a simpler cockpit (no electrical system but we have a battery and radio), which is fine by me, and just a bit twitchier on the ground. But once you get it in the air, it's a fun little plane.

Oh, since there's no electrical system, starting the engine requires someone to turn the prop by hand. How retro! :-)

We taxied over to runway 13 Right and took off. The Champ got into the air in no time and drifted a bit in the light crosswind. I was surprised by how much it drifted but didn't have trouble fixing it. We climbed up to 4,500 over our practice area and I did a few turns to get a feel for the plane.

With my turns over, Dave asked me to do a few stalls: power on and power off. From there we went into spins again. He wanted to see good 3 turn spins and recoveries both left and right. So I did 4 spins in total (2 of each) and was starting to feel a tiny bit dizzy. Power plans spin quite a bit differently (faster, tighter, and more steeply) than the gliders I'm used to.

Mission accomplished, we headed back to the airport and got a clearance to land on Runway 13 Left. While turning base the tower instructed us to change to 13 Right, so I did that. We had a bit of crosswind on landing but I managed to get us down to a nearly 3 point landing without any bouncing. Yay!

Back at the tie-down area, we gassed up the plane and I got a spin endorsement in my log book. Woohoo!

Next time up we're going to work on ground reference stuff.

Posted by jzawodn at September 16, 2005 02:55 PM

Reader Comments
# Jeremy Felt said:

Not related to the famed Citabria or anything, but I noticed that you haven't graced us with a rundown of Yahoo's new mail UI. Insight would be cool, and invite would be cooler... :)

on September 17, 2005 07:14 PM
# Nick Arnett said:

What's with all the spins? I'm guessing you know that it's not even required any more for an SEL license... so I'm also guessing that this is something you wanted. And you're somewhat used to, from sailplanes? Or are you aiming to do aerobatics from the start? Spins are hypnotic... but not something I'm ever entirely comfortable doing.

on September 18, 2005 07:47 AM
# f-i-n said:

very cool...i've always wanted to learn!

on September 18, 2005 11:47 AM
# Bill Humphries said:

That Champ looks like a nice plane.

I went up in a friend's RV-7A kit-built this afternoon. That one has a clear canopy like your gliders. Amazing to be able to see all around you unlike the tiny porthole on a passenger jet.

I fear I may have contracted the flying bug.

on September 18, 2005 10:42 PM
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