Emergency Decents

My instructor and I met for a few hours this afternoon to go over emergency procedures and practice both gliding and descents.

We met at 6 pm and it was still roasting outside. I had shown up to the hangar about 30 minutes prior to the meeting so I could pre-flight the aircraft. Checking the fuel I noted that there was less than 6 gallons in the plane. Now our 152 burns 6 gallons per hour- so I knew right away I was going to have to drag it down to the pumps before we met. I like to gas up before my instructor gets there. I would rather pay for time he actually instructs and I know he would rather actually teach me during our time together.

During the preflight I noted a few loose screws that hold the aircraft fabric to the frame. I had always wondered why my fuel strainer had a screw driver on the end of it—now I know why. I tightened the screws and completed my pre-flight inspection.

Jeff and I met for about an hour before we flew. During this time we went over various reasons for emergencies, the different scenarios, possible actions, and the procedures for dealing with emergencies. We also discussed places around our own airport where I could ditch the airplane if needed.

One we were airborne I quickly got myself established in the pattern and properly turned out of the pattern once I was out of the downwind leg, this is called a downwind departure. By the time I departed the pattern we had climbed from 2537 ft (our airport elevation) to 3500 ft. I continued our climb to 4500 ft.

The first procedure we did was loss of power. For this I immediately established our glide (best glide) at 60 knots. I picked a spot to land if we needed to. Then I trimmed for glide and then went through the procedure of checking to see if fuel was on, mixture, throttle, ignition key/attempt to restart, and the check the primer. Once we established (simulated) that my aircraft was not going to start we prepared for our (simulated) emergency landing.

The next procedure was emergency descents. Here we put in full flaps, pitched the aircraft for 80 knots, and dove for the deck. At 1000 feet AGL we leveled the plane and picked a spot we could land at if needed.

On the way back I made two landings. I’m still leveling two low and I think I’m giving Jeff a heart attack. After we had a chance to talk through it- I understand better what is expected.

We took the aircraft back a little earlier than we wanted to because someone else had booked it. Unfortunately hey never showed. I wish people would cancel their bookings or at least cancel them sooner, especially when the schedule get filled up. We could have used the extra 15-20 minutes for practicing landings.

Total Flight Time: .9
Landings: 2

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