Home > Lessons > Slow Flight, Stalls and Crosswind, Oh My!

Slow Flight, Stalls and Crosswind, Oh My!

Had an unusual lesson today ’cause it’s Sundayyyyyy. Wife is gone, great time to fly 😉  After waiting on hold forever to file the SFRA plan (which I did at the airport because they changed planes at the last minute) we got set to take off with nothing unusual except it was darn windy. About 9-14 kt gusts. We take off and after looping around we head north of the SFRA to the usual maneuvering area. But wait…first I’m put under the hood, so on this gorgeous day I get to see … nothing.

When we get to the maneuvering area we start off with some stalls, first in the takeoff then in the landing configuration. This time however the instructor really wanted me to pull the nose up and slow down not just to an almost stall, but a real live let’s make the airplane fall stall. Was very cool…scary the first time but very cool. There is nothing like a falling airplane to quickly make you put the thrust all in. It’s pretty cool trying to let the yoke straighten out and then start pulling back after you get sufficient thrust. I did notice that even with full thrust it did take a while until we had a positive rate of climb.  We did the full stall thing about 3 times and each was a little different but I think I got the hang of it.

Then we did some slow flight maneuvers and it was very interesting trying to keep all the balls in the air, so to speak, like keeping the heading and altitude the same is darn tricky. Fun but tricky. We did a couple of 360 steep turns and it was also very challenging trying to keep the same altitude. I didn’t do that great and lost a couple of hundred feet the first time and was a bit better on try number 2. I realized however that although I did the 360 turns in the past it was a LONG time ago and was lots of fun, I will supposedly be doing it each lesson from now on. Oh and by the way we have started the lessons that are officially the practice and preparation for the check ride…so I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel (not that tunnel!).

We few back to KGAI and not until the downwind leg did the hood come off. Remember I was doing most of that previous stuff blind. We did a couple of extra patterns in KGAI to land an extra time to get more practice with crosswind. The first landing was a no flaps landing, apparently you do a no flaps landing if you have lots of wind. I nailed it pretty good and instructor seemed impressed although I thought he helped a bit on the landing. We did the second landing with 20 degrees of flaps and the plane did jostle a bit more, all in all he thought we had about a 14kts crosswind which is pretty strong. I landed pretty good also so that was nice. That’s about it, more tomorrow!


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