Monday, September 6, 2010

Today, I Felt Like a Pilot!!

Yesterday, Sunday, it was a different story. Sunday I planned to go up about 10AM. It was a breezy day, 20-30-40 degrees off the nose about 10-12 knots. Been there, done that, so I can do it again. Right? After 2 trips around the patch I was beat. The second landing left me wanting oxygen and a reason to fly, period. I tied down, tucked my tail between my legs and sulked to the pilot’s lounge. But … I was not the only one to call it a day. One other pilot cancelled his cross country due to the winds and turbulence. For me, it was not the winds but the intermittent moderate turbulence, especially on final approach to runway 21, which is the one over the small valley that I-76 runs through and trees that are about 75 feet off the approach on the left. These trees love to kick up winds that are completely unpredictable. They lived up to that and then some.

Today, though, it was a different story. As they say, attitude, attitude, attitude. Guess what? It’s 100% true.

The wind was down the runway, about 8 knots gusting but fairly nice. I wanted to concentrate on my airspeed management, and checklist usage. I a 152 there is not much to watch, but still, good habits are needed no matter what the plane.

Takeoffs were good and I made sure I held runway centerline and also best rate of climb and also best angle of climb in the initial minute. Never have I done best angle now that I have, I love it and will do it until I reach 300 feet and retract the flaps. Downwind I worked on my altitude and keeping the right distance from the runway. And on final I was accurate in my 65-70 knot approach. As I came over the imaginary fence I wanted no more than 60 knots and was close to the numbers mostly and 9 out of 10 landings were at the first turnoff without heavy braking. The last landing was a PERFECT full stall landing with the wheel to my chest. I was so excited that I almost did another run around the patch, but called it quits as planned.

Unfortunately my camera kept cutting off, and after getting home I saw that it was due to weak batteries.

Lesson learned? Attitude is key and also, fly the plane by the numbers from takeoff to touchdown.

Next up, is my dual cross country. Now that the Cleveland Airshow is done, I may fly 15G – KBKL – KYNG – KCAK – 15G. This way I can fly into 3 controlled fields, Class D, TRSA, and Class C in one cross country. I’d better get out my Comm 1 training program.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Ahhh, good times. Hitting up a bunch of towered fields on an XC is a great way to get radio experience. We did that on our giant trip in July and I definitely think it was a great way to quickly build up my skills.