Well, it's been a bit of time since I wrote about my powered flight training. Given my recent travel, I simply haven't had time to get in the air other than last weekend's Maule Flight to Petaluma. That flight was fun and I learned a bit about airspace and dealing with controller handoffs, but it's not the same as having an instructor in the back seat telling you what you're doing wrong.

I flew today with Dave in Citabria 5032G and we took the opportunity to reorient me to landing gracefully. Given that I hadn't flown a Citabria for a few weeks, my landings weren't exactly gentle. No, I bounced the first two. And when I got the bouncing under control, I had to deal with the shifting winds. We went from a headwind to left crosswind back to headwind and then back to a left crosswind again.

In the end, I got seven landings and one go-around in. The go-around was a first for me. That is, the first time I've ever decided to go around rather than make the situation work. I was high and a bit fast, already close to the runway, and facing a left crosswind. I quickly realized that I could probably slow it down, slip hard, and put the plane down in the second half of the runway. But that was risky. Coming out of a slip after you've burned up the half the runway and still need to compensate for the crosswind doesn't leave a lot of margin. So I said, "we're going around."

Dave asked me "are you sure?" I thought that was odd, but I suspect he wanted to hear my rationale.

My last few landings were better. I even managed to compensate for the crosswind the way one is supposed to.

Now, if I can find a way to get myself in the air at least once a week from now on, I suspect I won't feel nearly as rusty.

We'll see.

Posted by jzawodn at November 26, 2005 08:07 PM

Reader Comments
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I dunno.

on November 27, 2005 06:59 PM
# Greg said:

Add commenting to your link blog!

on November 27, 2005 09:07 PM
# Pete Markham said:

Never be afraid to go around. There is no shame in it. A good pilot knows when it is best to just try it again.

The other piece of advice an instructor once gave me while I was flying at a tower controlled airport was, "Start the go around first -- get yourself stabilized -- THEN tell the tower you are going around. That way you won't fly yourself into the ground while you are trying to tell the tower that you want to go around." Sounds simple and it is. But when things are happening fast on final approach, it is easy to lose sight of the simple stuff.

I'm enjoying reading your posts about your lessons. It brings back the fond memories of my flight training. Keep it up!

on November 29, 2005 09:49 PM
# sexwizja said:

Pretty good a website, that`s the stuff !
Regards from sexwizja

on November 30, 2005 03:03 PM
# Scott Johnson said:

All of this Citabria talk really makes me want to go take some flying lessons. :)

on December 2, 2005 10:38 AM
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