Yesterday I had the chance to pick up my training again. I met Dave at Amelia Reid for a late afternoon flight in N9091L (which I'd not flown before) down to South County Airport so that I could try my hand at wheel landings.
Up until now, I've been focused on the classic "three point" landings. The goal is to get the main wheels and the tail wheel on the ground at the same time (or as close to that as possible). The technique is basically to stall the plane at the instant it touches down.
Wheel landings can be called "two point" landings. The goal is to get the main wheels down in a controlled fashion, slow down, and then bring the tail down. They're typically flown at higher approach speeds and are often used in gusty or crosswind conditions because of the extra control and safety they afford.
I flew us down to South County, checked the windsock and setup for a landing on runway 14. I wanted to get one three point landing under my belt first, since it'd been a few weeks. I made a decent landing and hit the power so we could get right back into the pattern.
Dave flew the second pattern and landing, so I could see a wheel landing from the front seat. (I'd only seen one from the rear the time I flew in N7807S.) He kept the speed to roughly 80MPH on the approach and got the stick forward right away. He got the tail down and gave me the plane.
I flew the third landing but ended up going around when the approach just didn't feel right and it seemed like I was eating up lots of runway. Then on the fourth landing, I ended up following a Cessna that flew a wide-ass pattern slowly. I was about to touch down and he still hadn't exited the runway, so I had to go around again.
The fifth time was a charm. I got the plane onto the runway at a decent speed and lowered the tail a bit. But I made the mistake of applying full power with the tail a bit off the ground yet. That resulted in the plane trying to take a left turn. I hadn't anticipated that with a bit of right rudder, so I had to fight it until we took off. Dave kind of laughed and said, "I should have warned you about that."
It was getting a bit late, so we headed back to Reid Hillview where I was able to perform one final wheel landing. Even though I've only performed two wheel landings so far, I already feel fairly comfortable doing them. I expected them to be a bit trickier but they're rather straightforward.
I got the chance to take up N53893 today for some pattern work. Lance and Mark were also flying. That gave me someone else to watch when I wasn't flying. :-)
Anyway, I managed to get 10 landings in just under an hour despite the pattern being fairly busy. Since they were all "touch and go" landings, I didn't waste any time on the taxiway.
Flying two days in a row really helps. I feel like only 2 of my 10 landings didn't go quite as I would have liked. My worst landing today was better than my average landing on most other days. It was a good day.
I hope to get a few more hours of practice in before flying with Len again. If he's happy, I should be able to fly solo to a few nearby airports.
Posted by jzawodn at January 07, 2006 04:47 PM