A couple weeks ago in Short Field Landings and Learning Plateaus I lamented my inability to comfortably fly the Citabria slow enough on final to perform a short field landing without floating right past my intended touchdown point.
The following weekend, I managed to fly about 4.2 hours for the sole purpose of getting my speed down in a comfortable way. Thanks in part to the helpful comments in response to that post, here's what I did.
- flew down to Hollister on Saturday, climbed to 5,500 along the way, and practiced flying between 55 and 65mph with the engine idle for a good 10 minutes
- worked on flying slower during final and landing, by moving my comfort zone down a few mph every 3-4 landings
- practice over and over
- completely ignored picking a spot to land on, instead focusing completely on simply making the runway and controlling speed
I flew again with my instructor last Wednesday and after he gave me a few pointers on controlling my touchdown point (use small power changes to adjust it), I started nailing my short field landings within the -0/+200 practical test standards.
In retrospect, it is all quite easy.
I thought I was going to practice a bit more on my own this past Saturday, but when I arrived down at South County airport, I encountered winds that were variable from about 10 to 15 knots and anywhere from straight down the runway to a 40 degree left crosswind.
I was dismayed, but decided it was a great chance to try a few "normal" landings to see how I could handle the crosswind. Surprisingly, I had a blast doing this and stuck around far longer than I expected. In total, I logged 11 landings down there and only had to go around once.
My fear of crosswind landings in the Citabria is starting to fade, and that's a very good feeling. I now feel like I have a lot more control in my landings than I ever have before.
Posted by jzawodn at November 26, 2006 09:25 PM