Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Short Field Work and Hood Time

One thing I noticed at the tail end of my training was that we did not do short fieldwork. While I always try to make sure my landings were near the threshold, one of my biggest problems was that I would find myself on short final with excessive speed which would lead me into a longer float than I wanted. Because of my excessive speed my flares would leave me in a balloon situation time and time again. So my instructor and I went up and executed short field landings which I thought I would be a little queasy over.  Short field landing in the Warrior calls for an approach that is pretty much at the lower end of the white arc. Real close.  Too close for my comfort level.  Now I have to admit, it was much easier than I thought, and my landings were right beyond the threshold, that is within 50 to 100 feet with absolutely no problem. While many times my takeoffs were pretty much close to ‘by the book’ short field takeoffs I pretty much never pushed myself until today. I was never a fan of having my nose at a high departure angle so close to the ground. However, only once did I hear the stall warning chirp at me therefore I pretty much felt comfortable at this high angle of attack during takeoff.  Soft field takeoffs were great.  
As of now I need just a touch less than an hour of hood time, and this latest adventure was pretty taxing to me again. My instructor stated that I did quite well however I was making some standard mistakes and need to pay more attention to flying the airplane with the required instruments that would make me more accurate in my heading holds and also my altitude holds.  No doubt, people hold an instrument rating are exceptional pilots. I was told by one of my instructors that on clear days at low altitudes it is not uncommon to encounter as much turbulence as I did which makes the hood time much more difficult. Therefore I guess training under the hood is pretty difficult for many, as it was for me. Turbulence and low altitude under the hood brings on a lot of sweat and frustration.
Nine more days before the end of the month, therefore I am sweating that issue of obtaining my license before April 30, which is my target date which coincides with the end of Organ Donation Awareness Month. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating and the winds today are 22 to 28 knots.

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