Home > Uncategorized > That’s not a normal smell

That’s not a normal smell

Back in the air…yay!!! Been way too long a bit over two weeks since my last lesson and now I’m on instructor number three. I seem to wear them out. Actually just life circumstances caused them to leave so today I had my first lesson with instructor number 3, whom I shall refer to as “G”.

We meet, and it turns out I had seen the guy quite a few times just didn’t know his name, so that was cool. We go over my log and be sure that I have all the requirements and I actually do. We go up and practice some slow flight and that goes reasonably. I was pretty rusty, not surprisingly, but manage ok. In the process of starting to do a power off stall practice I pull the throttle out all the way and then when putting the throttle back in a little we smell something odd, like a burning type smell. The low voltage light also went on, which on this plane is normal for a low RPM but this was when the RPM was increasing. Smelling something burning in a plane is not a good thing. It didn’t last more then a few seconds however but my instructor, and I were a little concerned. Nothing was acting odd and the gaugues all read normal so we continued on with no problems.

There was a huge amount of chatter on the Potomac Approach frequency. A lot of people seemed very unfamiliar with SFRA air space and rules. It was kind of a pain as we tried to break in just to tell Potomac our info. Damn amateurs!

We turn around after a while and head back to KGAI and after some more slow flight and stall practice that smell happened one more time although for a bit shorter I’d say. My instructor turned off most of the electronics, the GPS and some of the lights to conserve the electricity in the battery in case there was something going on. This way there was a greater chance we could use the flaps if there was a problem. One great thing that I practiced was looking for more landmarks as a way to navigate rather then the GPS. I definitely need more practice with that and “G” was very helpful pointing out landmarks and heading tricks and directions.

On the way back to KGAI we see two planes at about 10 o’clock in front of our heading and one suddenly pulls up and does a barrel roll, way cool!! Although it’s not clear that the two planes were together or just to close to each other. Anyway it was lots of fun to watch as long as we felt out of their way.

We get close to KGAI and again there is a lot of traffic and chatter on the CTAF. There was someone taking off and just entering crosswind, we were close to entering the 45 to runway 14. Another plane is on a long base (whatever the hell that is supposed to be) and there are two more planes 3 and 5 miles on final. Crazy! We wind up doing a long base and two of those planes in traffic were experimental acrobatic type (RV) planes. Some bozo says he’s on a 3 mile final and one of the RV pipes up that we need to tighten up the pattern. “A three mile final …really!” he quips. It was most amusing by that time we were on a 1.5 mile final and were just amused at it all. There was a pretty good 8kt crosswind and I did a peachy good landing so that was good to impress my instructor.

After the lesson I had FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER a formal sit down debrief to go over all the stuff we did. What I did good and what I need to work on. I’ve had a bunch of short stand up debriefs but this was lots more thorough. Very nice, “G” is a pro!

That was all for the day.  More later this week.

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