January 29, 2003
Three Solo Flights

Not much to report. I headed down to Hollister today (after some schedule juggling) to fly. I had one of the 2-32s reserved for two hours. But it was foggy in the early AM so I waited until roughly 9am. I arrived just after 10am.

Drew went over my log book to verify that I had a 7 day solo sign-off and then called the tow pilot. In the meantime, I did the pre-flight checklist for glider 64E. We pulled the glider out near the runway, pulled out a coupe of runway lights, and chatted with the tow pilot.

In a few minutes I was on the runway and flying my first flight. All three flights were pretty uneventful. The weather was great. Clear, clam, and warm. The air above 1,000 feet was quite clear.

I released at roughly 5,000 feet on each flight and practiced a lot of low speed maneuvers, turns, and even attempted some thermaling. One one of the tows I practiced tow signals a bit too.

The most interesting part of each flight, of course was the landing. I found that the air started to get pretty bumpy below 800 feet, making my pattern a little sloppy. The good news is that my landings are improving. I touched down very close to the centerline at a reasonable place and stopped quickly without control problems.

It was a nice quiet day of flying. While nothing terribly noteworthy happened, the flights helped to get me used to flying alone and helped to build my confidence. I'll surely do this many more times in the coming weeks.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:14 PM
January 26, 2003
Eyes closed, no altimeter, cross-winds, etc.

I headed down to Hollister this morning for another 2-hour training session with Jim. I wasn't sure what he'd want to do for my first post-solo instructional flight. He suggested we do two high (~4,000 foot) flights. On the first one, I'd practice aerotow signals during tow. Once off tow, I'd cover the altimeter, practice some steep (60 degree) turns, and perform a no-altimeter landing on runway 31. On the second flight, I'd fly the low tow position until just before the release. Then I'd cover the altimeter, practice some deep stalls (45 and 60 degrees nose up), practice unusual altitudes, and perform a no-altimeter RIGHT pattern and landing on runway 31.

Flight 1

The weather was quite nice. It was warming quickly and there was little wind (as usual). I asked Jim if we'd take off from runway 24 or 31. He left it up to me, so we took off from 24. I was already quite used to flying from 31 and hadn't taken off on 24 in a few weeks. So I figured it'd be good to get back in practice. Plus, it meant we didn't have to push the glider as far.

The takeoff went well. For the first time, there was no ground fog, so I got a very good view of the fields on the other side the hill at the end of runway 24. That's good to see in case I ever need to abort a takeoff and land in a field off the runway.

After we got up a couple thousand feet, Jim took the controls and demonstrated the slow down (yaw the glider) and speed up (rock the wings) tow signals. The tow pilot picked up on them and did as instructed. Then I got to try them. It was a little odd intentionally moving the glider like that on tow, but it was pretty easy to control. After that was done, he demonstrated the signal which means "glider cannot release" (move to the side (usually left) and rock the wings). The trouble is that the tow plane thought it was a steering turn, so he began to turn. Then I tried the maneuver three or four times, but every time the tow plane thought it was a steering turn, so I had to keep aborting and getting back in formation. Grr.

The tow plane eventually gave us the "release now" signal (rocked his wings) which I mis-interpreted, so Jim popped the release. (Oops. Duh.) Once clear of the tow plane, I flew a few gentle circles to look for other traffic. The Jim took the controls to demonstrate a 60 degree banked 720 degree turn. We started aimed at Pocheco (sp?) peak, turned twice, and rolled out aimed at the peak again.

After his demonstration, I performed two or three 60 degree turns and then tried a couple of 45 degree turns too. Jim was happy with my turns and then asked me how high we were. Since the altimeter was covered, I took a semi-educated guess and said we were around 2,600 feet. He then asked me how we looked in relation to the airport. At that point I realized that we had better head back at best L/D speed so that we'd have enough altitude to fly a normal pattern and land.

As we got closer to the airport, I felt a little low but not too bad. So I made my pattern entry and radio call. After turning downwind from cross-wind, I looked down at the runway and noticed two things: first I noticed that our angle to the runway looked good, but the second thing I noticed was that we were lower than I first expected. It felt like we were around 800 feet instead of the normal 1,200 feet. So I kept that in mind as the pattern progressed.

As we flew along the downwind leg, I got a little worried and angled toward the runway just a bit. But when I go ready to turn base, I realized that we didn't have much space for a real base leg. So I made a "base to final" call on the radio and did just that. After we rolled out on final, I pulled the brakes and began a normal descent. We descended and landed pretty well.

Flight 2

My tow on the second flight was a bit more interesting. After I got 10 feet off the runway, I held my position while the tow plane climbed above me until I was in the low tow position. Then I climbed to match the tow plane's ascent rate and tried to hold that position for the duration of the tow.

Flying in low tow was odd. It wasn't as hard as I expected, but it certainly was different. Since I was looking up at the plane the whole time, I didn't see the horizon very much. That made it a bit harder to tell when my wings were level, so I found myself oscillating back and forth a few times.

After we got up a few thousand feet, Jim asked me to try a few steering turns for low tow. That worked pretty well. As soon as I began the maneuver, I realized (and said) that it was just like a wake boxing maneuver. Knowing that I had done it many times before made it that much easier.

We released at 4,700 feet and I performed a gentle 720 degree turn to clear the area around and below us in preparation for our stalls. Before the stalls, Jim reminded me to cover the altimeter again.

Jim took the controls to demonstrate what he called a 45 degree deep stall. He began by diving to pick up speed (roughly 80mph) and then pulled the nose up steadily, looking off the wings to the horizon for angular reference. (It seemed quite a bit steeper than 45 degrees to me, and he later agreed that it must have been.) The glider stalled, the nose went down, and he recovered.

Then he asked me to perform a 60 degree deep stall, so I did. I recovered with about 80mph of airspeed, which is just about right. Then he asked for two 45 degree deep stalls. Both went well.

With the stalls out of the way, we played a new game. Jim would take the controls, ask me to close my eyes, and fly the glider for a bit. Then he'd ask me to open my eyes and correct whatever he'd done. The first time he had me in a 45 degree banked turn with the nose a little high. I recovered just fine. The second time, he kept the wings level, pulled the nose high (roughly 30 or 40 degrees), and said "open your eyes and recover." I opened my eyes and saw blue sky so I put the nose forward right away to prevent the stall. Jim, said "good!" and I was happy.

I figured that'd be it for the flight, but he then asked me to close my eyes again and fly the glider. As soon as I heard this, I knew what he was up to. He wanted to demonstrate how a loss of visual references will always mess up your flying. He'd ask me to turn left, level out, turn right, and so on. Eventually he asked me to open my eyes. I did and was surprised to see the glider in a moderate right turn when I thought it was flying straight. We did that exercise one more time. After several turns, he told me to level the glider and I said, "I can't level the glider, because I can't even tell you which way it's turning." He chuckled and said, "okay, open your eyes." I did and found myself in another right turn..

Lesson learned. Stay the hell out of clouds or anything else that will kill visibility.

After that, I headed back toward the airport because we seemed to be close to pattern altitude. Again, the altimeter was covered. This time, I was to fly a RIGHT pattern and land on runway 31. I entered from a 45 degree to downwind and flew the pattern. This time I was at a more reasonable height, so didn't have to worry much about altitude. As I finished the pattern, we noticed a light cross-wind, so my landing was a little sloppy. I had not flown a cross-wind takeoff or landing yet.

Jim said the pattern and landing was good, considering that I had zero cross-wind experience. His time with me was up, but I could tell he really wanted me to fly a bit more to get some cross-wind practice. The wind picked up a bit more (to roughly 5 knots). He noticed that Russell had arrived and said he'd go see if Russell would fly some cross-wind takeoffs and landings with me while he (Jim) flew with his 10:30am student.

Cross-wind flights

I waited in the glider and after a few minutes noticed Russell heading over. We chatted for a bit, he pulled the glider out to the runway, and hopped in the back seat. We flew three cross-wind takeoff and landings (left closed traffic). The first landing was sloppy as I got used to controlling the glider more on descent and slipping when necessary. The second one was better. Russell suggested I float for a while and land long. That game me a good feel for tracking the centerline with more margin for error. The third landing improved upon the first two. I put the glider into a slip without even realizing what I was doing. I just happened. After we got on the ground, Russell told me that he was amused when, 15 feet above the ground, I commented that there didn't seem to be much of a cross-wind anymore. Apparently, if I had looked at the yaw string, I'd have noticed that there was a cross-wind and that I was slipping into it--just as I should have been.

We wanted to fly one more time but the cross-wind all but died while we were waiting for the tow plane to come over for hookup. So I called it quits for the day.

I found out that Jim had signed me off for a 7-day solo window, so I reserved one of the 2-32s for a couple hours Thursday morning. I also signed up for 2 hours next Sunday with Jim and the ASK-21. He said that he'd like to take me up in the ASK-21 next time. I think we're going to try some steep turns with full stick back. And he probably also wants to give me some experience in a different glider too.

It was intersting to fly with a different instructor (Russell) for a while. Each instructor has a different style, focuses on different aspects of flights, and so on. Hopefully I'll get to do that again sometime.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:50 PM
January 24, 2003
Solo Flight

Today began like any other. I got up early and headed down to Hollister. And for the first time I found myself worrying more about the weather the closer I got. Usually the weather in the Bay Area is nasty but it clears up after I get past the Coyote valley.

When I got up this morning, I told myself that I wouldn't solo today. I knew that I needed to work on my landings and that's exactly what I intended to do.

I arrived and sat down with Jim to go over whatever he had in mind. However, after looking over my progress in my log book and in the student checklist he keeps, he decided that we didn't have a lot to discuss. Unfortunately, the tow pilot had gone for fuel so we couldn't fly for a while. So we chatted about benign spirals a bit. We were also keeping an eye on the fog and clouds that were really close to the airport. It was a bit worrisome, but they seemed to be staying clear of the airport.

We got glider six four echo ready to fly and pulled out to runway 31. Jim left the first flight up to me, so we towed up to 2,800 feet where I released. For the first time, I had to release while turning. Once we got up over 1,000 feet, the clouds were close enough that the tow plane really couldn't fly in a straight line for more than a minute.

After release, I just performed a few shallow and medium banked turns to steer clear of the clouds and get comfortable. After dropping about 1,000 feet of altitude, I headed for my entry point, started my landing checklist, and so on.

My first landing wasn't too bad, but I didn't maintain my speed very well and wasn't on the centerline until we were 2 feet off the ground. But it was better than last Sunday.

For the next two flights we went to 2,200 feet and did the same--avoided clouds and flew around a bit. The landings were better. Other than not increasing my speed when I opened the air brakes, I was feeling a bit better about landings.

The clouds where getting a bit closer so Jim asked me to fly left closed traffic for the fourth flight. I informed the tow plane and we were off. We released a bit high, roughly 1,400 feet on downwind. I didn't compensate as soon as I should have when turning base, so I had to run with full brakes almost the whole way down on final. But I flared and landed as planned.

When Jim got out of the glider to hook up the tow rope for the next flight, he did something I didn't expect. He took the back seat cushions out with him and began to secure the belts. It took me a minute to actually look back there and realize what he was doing. When I did, he started explaining "without me in the back seat, the glider will fly a bit differently..."

That's when I knew it was time--my time to fly the glider on my own. I was a little nervous but less than I thought I'd be. Since we had just practiced four landings I felt reasonably confident that I could do another. He told me to fly another closed pattern. I called the tow plane and said, "I'd like left closed traffic again... and this will be a first solo." The tow pilot said something like, "Roger, closed left traffic. And I'll go easy on you. Good luck."

I went thru my checklist and closed the canopy. Jim ran my wing. I was in the air sooner than I expected. He was right. Without someone in the back, it took off a lot sooner. It also wanted to climb a bit faster, so I had to roll the trim all the way forward to keep from climbing past the tow plane. The clouds were even closer and the air was getting a little bumpy so I got tossed around a bit and we had to dodge a cloud or two. I released at 1,200 feet on downwind, announced my position in the pattern, and began my landing checklist, just as I'd always practiced.

The tow pilot exited the pattern and announce his intention to re-enter on a long downwind in a couple minutes. Before I knew it, I was announce my base leg, turning, and asking myself how the approach looked--just like Jim would if he was there. I pulled out the brakes, turned on final, and lined up on the runway. I surprised myself by lining up way better than when Jim is normally watching me. I kept my speed up all the way to my flare and landed.

Jim came over to the glider to shake my hand and congratulate me on my first solo. We chatted for a minute while the tow plane came back over. Jim suggest that I go once more and hooked me up. So I did.

My second solo flight was better. I started out with the trim all the way forward this time and I didn't climb so far. I didn't over-control like I did on the first flight. Again, I released at 1,200 on downwind and did just what I had done last time. The only problem was that I noticed I was only flying 60mph at 20 feet above the runway. I should have been doing 70. Since I didn't want to put the nose down farther while that low, I pushed the brakes in a bit and floated for a while.

After landing, Jim commented that I seemed to be coming in a little hot so I explained what I had done. Made sense to him.

We pulled the glider off the runway and back toward the glider tie down area. Then we had some paperwork to do. I got my picture taken (still need to scan it), shirt cut, and so on.

All in all, it was a very good day. By convincing myself I wasn't going to solo, I managed to keep my mind off screwing up and actually got to solo.


Posted by jzawodn at 11:41 PM
January 19, 2003
Wrong Knob, or landing practice...

Today was supposed to be all about landing practice. Jim didn't say so, but the impression I have is that he'll solo me after he's happy with my landings. He wants to see me consistently come in at a good angle and speed, flare at the right spot, and touch down at the right speed while being on the centerline.

Let me tell you, that's easier said than done. I had four flights this morning. The first two were to 2,000 feet. We towed to the east and released. I circled around a bit and watched the tow plane head to the airport. By then I was at roughly 1,700 feet and entered the crosswind leg for runway 31. Jim didn't say much during those flights and told me he wouldn't be saying much. I think he just wants to see what I do all on my own. He's getting a feel for my decision making in the cockpit.

We spent a fair amount of time on the ground discussing rope break procedures again, short patterns, and landing with a tail wind.

The first landing was a little low and fast. I caught myself flying 80mph in the pattern rather than 70mph, and that made me a bit low. I touched down right at the beginning of the runway (on the 31 numbers) instead of starting my flare at that point. The second landing was a little better but still not good.

With all the rope break discussions, I really expected him to pull the rope at 200 feet again on one of the first two flights.

The next two flights were simple circuit or pattern-only tows. We'd fly up off runway 31, turn crosswind, and then downwind. Roughly half way thru the downwind leg, we'd be at 1,000 feet and I'd pop the release. I'd done this a few times before, so I didn't think it'd be a big deal. And the first flight went relatively well.

The second (and last flight for the day) was a different story entirely. I managed to fuck up in a big way. When it was time to release, I did the typical manuver: climb about 30-50 feet, dive back down to get slack in the rope, and level off. This all happens very quickly. After you're level and there's slack in the rope, you pull the release and wait for the rope to fall away.

The release knob in the glider is right in front of the pilot. It's literally a knob that's just about the size of a golf ball. However, in the SGS 2-32 trainers, there's also and identical knob on the left side of the cockpit. It controls the dive brakes (or spoilers).

You can see where this is going.

I pulled the wrong one.

This is very bad for so many reasons. What happend (very quickly) was that the glider slowed down a lot, causing the slack in the tow line to vanish. That made the towplane pull the glider faster, which caused the glider to climb. Now the moment I pulled the knob, I realized something was very wrong and glanced down to figure out what the hell had happened.

That was my big mistake: looking away from the tow plane and worrying about what was going on inside the cockpit. In an emergency situation, a pilot's first responsibility and focus is simple: fly the plane and keep it flying. I didn't. We've talked about it many times on the ground, but when things happen that quickly and you haven't yet developed the instinct, you screw up.

I'm glad this happened with Jim in the back seat. He knew exactly what to do. He pulled the release the moment he saw the tow plane vanish below us and he also slammed the control stick forward all the way to keep up flying. That sent some stuff flying in the cockpit because it was an abrupt negative-G descent. As soon as I realized what he had done, I got control of the glider back and flew the rest of the pattern and landing.

I never really thought much about the fact that the release knob and the knob for the brakes are identical. That's horrible. Controls in the cockpit that do very different things should look and feel different. Ask and usability expert about that one. Worse yet, in all the "I once had a student that did..." stories Jim has told me, he never mentioned this particular problem. However, he's had this happen many times in the past. That makes me feel a little better. Not much, but a little.

Anyway, that was a lesson I'll never forget. Needless to say, I have not flown solo yet. On Friday's morning, we'll pick up where we left off--probably flying some 2,000 foot tows and just trying to perfect my landings.

I know this is all part of learning, but that doesn't stop me from feeling really stupid for having done it.

Posted by jzawodn at 06:39 PM
January 16, 2003
Pre-Solo Test

I spent about 2.5 hours last night taking my pre-solo test and then another 2 hours reading regulations. It was a 70 question, take-home test that covers a whole bunch of the stuff that I need to know before HGC and the FAA will let me fly alone. It took longer than I expected but it was quite comprehensive. And I didn't need to lookup many of the answers.

This morning, I went to Hollister to meet with Jim so we could go over the test and related stuff. We spent 2 hours going over the test and discussing some of the FARs and, of course Jim quizzed me a lot.

The experience was very useful. We got to talk about more detailed rope break stuff, speed to fly in sink, and some other topics that we hadn't focused on very much. It served to reinforce what I already know and also point out what I need to focus some more time and energy on.

It was odd to spend a few hours at the airport and not fly. And the weather was soooo nice.

I'm scheduled to fly on Sunday morning and again the following Friday. Hopefully the weather is good and I do everything right. If so, there's a very good chance Jim will solo me. :-)

Posted by jzawodn at 06:04 PM
January 10, 2003
Student Pilot Certificate

I took some time this afternoon to fill out the necessary paperwork and headed over to the FAA's San Jose Flight Standards District Office. Of course, I had to make a phone appointment because they keep the doors locked. You never know when a terrorist might walk in and try to fill out some paperwork. Or something like that.

Anyway, I met Matt (the FAA guy helping me out), he checked my ID and we headed upstairs. Once we got to the front desk, he checked my ID again and filled out a log book that said I was there, etc.

Once all the security bullshit was done, we went over the form and he gave it someone else to process. Meanwhile we chatted for a few minutes about gliders and stuff. Apparently the guy who was there before me was also a Hollister Gliding Club student there to get his certificate too.

All in all, I spent just about as much time on "security" as we did doing "real paperwork." But now I'm in possession of a piece of paper that says I can solo a glider when my instructor gives me permission to do so. It's valid for the next 2 years, but I really have no intention of going that long before I get a license.


Posted by jzawodn at 06:27 PM
January 09, 2003
Spin Training

When I got out of the shower this morning, I was disappointed to find that it was raining outside. So I called down to Hollister to find out what the weather was like. Jim told me it looked flyable, so I headed down.

Along the way I noticed that the weather steadily improved as I approached Hollister. Once I got there, Jim and I spent a long time discussing spins and spiral dives. Most of the discussion was centered around spins. That was my first clue to what Jim had planned for me.

After discussing spins for quite a while, we prepared a glider 87R and then did something I've never done before: inspected parachutes. We probably spent 10 minutes or so discussing parachute usage and what to look for when inspecting one.

Before long, we pushed the glider out to the runway, put our parachutes on, and prepared for takeoff. The tow was uneventful and the air was relatively smooth. We aimed for some clouds that indicated wave lift but had difficulty finding anything sustainable. We flew around and above more clouds than I had ever been near in a glider. That alone was fun. We got off tow at 7,500 feet MSL near a mess of clouds and in weak lift.

I spent a few minutes circling, avoiding clouds, and watching the tow plane descend far enough to get back under the clouds and above the hills. Flying in circles allowed us to clear the air of any traffic near or below us. Once the tow plane was safely out of the way, Jim took the controls and demonstrated a spin.

The spin surprised me in many ways. The forces weren't dramatic, as I read. But I was impressed at what a stable maneuver it was. It was easy for me to count the revolutions. We spun four times before recovering.

After taking the controls back, I cleared the air and performed my first spin. It was interesting. My recovery was a bit slow. We hit 100mph pulling out of the dive, but it wasn't too bad. We spun four times.

My second spin was better. Again, I was able to count the revolutions. We spun three times before Jim asked me to recover. The second recovery was better. We only hit 90mph coming out of the dive. There was a very small cloud below us when the spin began, but it was above us when the recovery began. :-)

Jim wanted me to perform one more spin. So I dodged a few clouds and entered a spin to the right (the first two were left entry spins). He surprised me when he said "recover" after only one revolution. I recovered and we headed away from the hills. We were significantly lower (roughly 3,000 feet) at that point, so it was the smart thing to do.

Once out of the hills we had some altitude to play with, so Jim decided to demonstrate a maneuver we hadn't discussed. He rolled the glider into a steep 80 degree banked left turn. He kicked in a little extra left rudder and then pulled the stick all the way back. It was a spin entry from stalling steep turn. I didn't know what to expect, but I was very surprised by the maneuver. It was a dramatic demonstration of a less conventional spin entry.

Once we recovered from that Jim asked me to get us home. So I headed back toward the airport. There was a plane taking off, so I circled outside the pattern for a few hundred feet. Jim asked me to perform a no air-brake landing, so we entered the pattern a bit low (as we should have).

I made the necessary radio calls and flew a mostly normal pattern. I held off a bit on turning final. Once I did, I put the glider in a full forward slip and found out how much less effective the slip was compared to using air-brakes. I held the slip all the way until touchdown, making minor course corrections to stay on the centerline. Jim tells me I did a very good landing without air brakes. I was a little easier than I expected. The only difficult part was making the minor adjustments while holding the slip.

Back on the ground, we went over the flight a bit, did the necessary log book work, and so on. Then Jim presented me the the necessary forms to get a student pilot certificate. I guess I'm close enough to soloing that I need that little piece of paper.

We agreed to meet again next week to do ground preparation work. I have a lot of reading the FARs to get ready for next week. He also gave me a copy of the Hollister Gliding Club's Pre-Solo Test. Once I take (and pass) the test, complete some ground work, and make one more high altitude flight (spiral dive and unusual attitudes), I'll be ready to solo.

Wow. Spins were more fun and less stressful than I expected. And I'll be soloing soon. That should be a blast.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:01 PM
January 03, 2003
Slipping Stalls, Skids, Spirals, and Rope Breaks

Today was flights 37-41. The first one was to 5,000 feet. The tow was smooth. I boxed the wake twice and it wasn't difficult at all. After release, Jim demonstrated stalling in a slip and in a skid. I got to try both. I was surprised by the speed we picked up during recovery. But that was nothing compared to the sprial dive demonstration. We pulled 3 or 3.5 Gs coming out of the spiral dive. It got to my stomach a bit. I'm sure it'll be easier next week when I have to perform the manuver. Before I knew it, we were at 2,000 feet and it was time to land. After finding out that Jim wanted me on runway 31 instead of 24 (which is what he told me on the ground), I got in the pattern and landed just fine. Since we were in N7531 again, he had to do the radio calls. Hopefully we'll fly 64E or 87R next week. I like them more anyway.

The second flight was to 1,000 feet. We released downwind in the pattern and I jumped right into to my landing checklist. (My release was a bit low, but not horrible.) The landing was good--I touched down just where I wanted. The other thing I noticed was that I'm sub-consciously picking up landmarks for my pattern on 31. I line up with a major road on downwind, turn near the big warehouse-looking building, and so on.

The third filght was my frist simulated rope break. Jim pulled the release right as we hit 200 feet. I put the nose down, performed a 180 degree left turn (45 degree bank, just as we discussed) and landed back on runway 13. I was surprised and how easy the manuver was. I expected the rope break to be more stressful. Granted, we had just talked about it and I knew he was giong to do it, but still.

The fourth flight was another simulated rope break. Jim didn't tell me what he had planned. When I asked (just before takeoff) his response was something like "well, stay with the tow plane as long as you can..." so I was suspicious. He pulled the release right about the time we reached 15 feet of altitude. The towplane hadn't even taken off yet. So I pulled the airbrakes, put the nose down, and landed on what remained of runway 31. My first "foreward rope break" went pretty well.

The fifth and final flight was another 200 foot rope break. Well, it was closer to 250 feet. Jim wanted it to be surprise and it almost was. I expected to be towing up a few thousand feet or maybe a rope break at 600 feet. But just before takeoff, the tow pilot made his radio call and I heard him say that he was going to tow us to 200 feet and we'd be returning on runway 13. Oops. He spoiled the surprise. The good news is that he break went just fine. Jim asked me to aim for a particular point farther down the runway, and I hit it pretty well.

All in all, it was a fun day. The rope breaks helped to build my confidence for low-altitude problems. And the slipping and skidding stalls were interesting. I just wish the spiral dive hadn't gotten to me so much. I just need a bit more work on my touchdown attitude. But I'm feeling really good with pattern and landings now.

Posted by jzawodn at 11:10 PM
January 02, 2003
Stalls, Slips, and Landings

I flew with Jim again today. Not a lot to say. The air was very calm. My first flight to 5,000 feet was very good. The tow was smooth and easy. I boxed the wake without trouble. We mostly practiced stalls (straight and turning) and then some forward slips.

The next two flights were to 2,500 feet so that I could practice turning slips and then get some pattern and langing practice. Other than one slight "bounce" things went reasonable well on the landings. Everything is good except for the actual touchdown. A little more practice needed there.

I flew in the only SGS 2-32 I hadn't flown in yet: N7531. It has a shorter stick and tighter trim control. And it had no battery, so Jim did all the radio work from his handheld.

I got up again tomorrow morning. I belive we're going to practice skids and what causes spins. Hopefully I'll fly in 87R or 64E where I can do the radio work during landings.

Posted by jzawodn at 10:16 PM