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