Tag Archives: student

Post-It Notes

The past few weeks I have been dedicating myself to doing more solo time. However there was a minor miscommunication between my instructor and myself. Once I did my solo flight he gave me the green light to fly and check in with him about every other week. We agreed to this when I was only flying once or twice a week. I came into some extra funding to support my aviation addiction and well, I made seven flights without going back to my instructor.

I should point out- this isn’t because your instructor doesn’t want you to have a good time or because you are a source of income- it is primarily a safety precaution.

I had developed several bad habits that if it wasn’t for Jeff catching- I could have gotten hurt or worse- killed.

So this morning we flew again. Now this was our second flight in the past week with one solo in between. I came back from my last two flights, one dual and one solo, with my confidence shaken. I think Jeff could sense this. He knows I drive myself pretty hard and have a hard time taking feedback when I think I have been doing the right thing. He also knows that for me- I’m either making an “A” or making an “F” when I grade myself. Again- I tend to drive myself very hard. When you look for an instructor- don’t just settle for one that is technically proficient, has the best price, or is the “club recommended CFI”. Choose the one that you can build a relationship with. Remember, the CFI works for you, but make this a partnership. Jeff and I spend a lot of time crammed into the cockpit of a Cessna 152, it is important that we get along. This is the responsibility of both the student and the instructor.

Jeff set me up with some great confidence boosters. After doing a few touch and go’s, he covered up the instruments with post it notes. He let me keep the tachometer and clock. Everything else was covered. We were in real VFR mode. While we stayed in the pattern he would ask me questions about my airspeed, what altitude I thought I was at, etc. We did two landings like this. It really helped me understand what the “picture” should look like during take off, landing, and each transition.

We also did some simulated engine failure exercises. The first attempt I came up a little short of the runway and had to execute a go around. The next few times I was able to bring it back in and on one occasion landed without flaps.

My flying funds are getting tight right now and I’ve run out of things to sell, so I’m not real sure how much time I will be putting in the next few weeks. I will still fly each week, but I will be dropping my time substantially.

On a side not- I did get the new website launched and if you need training materials, please purchase it through my on-line partnership with Amazon. You will find it under the “resources” link. The website address is http://www.barnstormingblarney.com

Over the next lessons I will be working on short and soft field take-offs, more hood work/instrument flying, and practicing more stalls. At some point I want to take the Cessna 172 out again, this time with my daughter and (of course) Jeff, so she can experience flying in a small plane…but we’ll have to see.

Total Hours: 28.5
Total Solo: 7.1
Total Landings: 99

Squishy Flaps

I had the opportunity to get a early morning flight in this week I love getting out to the airfield when its still dark.

I asked my instructor if I could get in a day of just working in the pattern.

We had very calm skies- with almost no wind. 11 is the preferential runway so I already had it in my mind’s eye which pattern we would be working.

During my pre-flight I was sure to double check the squak sheet- since last time I missed seeing that the radio was having issues. The squak sheet is a way to communicate to other pilot using an specific aircraft if there are any known issues. When I checked it – I noticed that our write-up had been scratched out. I also noticed on the sign-out log that the club’s mechanic had taken the aircraft for a spin and checked out the radio.

The landings are coming together. I talked my instructor through each step of the pattern. After take-off I climbed to 3500 feet (MSL) which is about 1000’ AGL.

Once our airspeed came in and we set the throttle to cruise- which on the litte C-152 is about 2200 rpm at 90 kts.

As we traveled on the downwind leg I made my radio call announcing to other traffic I where I was at. I also went through my checklist for landing- including making sure seat belts were fastened. I found it interesting that seatbelts are not required for the entire flight.

As I came parallel with the 1000’ hash marks of the runway I turned on the carb heat, pulled the throttle to 1500 rpm (making sure to keep the nose level) put in 10 degrees of flaps, and pitched for 80 kts.

I continued this process from the down wind- to base- to final

I would love to be able to say that each landing was perfect- but at least I had a chance to learn how to fix different landing problems from ballooning to bouncing.

On our 5th landing / touch and go I put the flaps up, turned off the carb heat, and firewalled the throttle

Immediately I noticed there was a problem with the takeoff- when I glanced outside- I noticed the flaps were still down.

Jeff took over the aircraft at this point and we did a low and slow flight in the pattern and landed immediately—then for some reason- the flaps went back up for us

I still had some time to fly before going to work- so we took of again- giving me another shot at landing.

I’m actually thankful for the small problems that have come up in my training. It is teaching me how to handle problems once I get out on my own.

In the end- Jeff thinks that by placing the flaps lever all the way down- and then bringing them back up is what helped to rectify the issue.