30 Degree Turns and Intro to Crosswind Landings

I had the opportunity to fly again this week, which for me was a special treat. When I signed up for classes I really thought I would only beable to afford to fly once a week. With some minor tweeking of our budget, my wife Melissa and I found a a way for me to fly twice a week. But last night was extra special because it was the third time this week that I was able to take a lesson. I could get spoiled on this pretty quick.

I checked the local AWAS- the air weather advisory out of the Caldwell, Airport- a small airfield close to the field I fly out of. The temperature was 29 degrees celcius which makes it about 85 degree. The wind was out of the north blowing 6 knots, which meant we would be doing crosswind take-offs and eventually landings. An interesting note is that the air density was 4200 feet. Air density is a calculation that tells you how high altitude wise how high you aircraft thinks it is. The higher you go, the less performance your aircraft has. Since my airfield sits at 2,536- because of air density, my airplane was going to perform as if it was already at 4200 feet. The phenomenon of air density will cause an airplane to use up more runway and have less lift to fly. I will cover air density later when it officially becomes part of my training.

I got to the hanger early and performed all of my preflight according to the checklist. I had 7 gallons of fuel in each tank. The 152 I fly burns about 6 gallons an hour. Since my instructor and I planned about an hour of flight- I would have more than enough fuel. Since I want to have about a half hour of fuel in reserve- I was only required to have 9 gallons, so I was good to go.

After the preflight, we taxied adjacent to the 29 runway, I did my pre-takeoff run-up, drove the plane in a small circle in the run-up area so I could check to see if there were any aircraft in the pattern, headed to the runway, and made my radio call. Once I communicated my intention to take-off- I pushed the throttle all the way forward and launched my self into the bumpy sky.

Once airborne, I had to struggle a little with the aircraft. It immediately weather vaned and this is a new concept for me. The nose points into the wind- but somehow we fly parallel with the runway.

We made several touch and go’s before departing for the practice area.

Today’s lesson was the 30 degree turn and my instructor had me do several of these. One of the areas I need to focus on is making sure I anticipate giving the aircraft enough rudder so I don’t skid in the turn.

After about 30 minutes of doing turns, we headed back for the runway. I gave my radio calls, and we entered the pattern at a 45 degree angle.

We practiced two more landings and then took the aircraft back to the hangar to debrief.

One of the things I really need to work on is understanding what strait and level flight looks like as I look through the front window. I’m not sure when this will kick in- but it is going to be difficult to move on to other areas until I get this down.

Total Hours: 8.3 Dual
Landings: 25
Areas Covered to Date: Take-Offs, Landings, Power On/Off Stalls, Slow Flight, and Pattern Work

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