Home > Uncategorized > Slow, Stall, Where’s the Damn Airport?

Slow, Stall, Where’s the Damn Airport?

Interesting lesson today. More slow flight and stall practice in which I did MUCH better. Really did well with the slow flight in dirty and clean configurations today. Was fun puttering around at about 45kts, the ground seemed to move slooooooooww.

My recovery from stalls was a bit to abrupt and rough at first but after a couple of times I got the hang of just releasing the yoke to let the plane dive straight but then not letting it go too far. Pulling back on the yoke a little gentler worked fine and doing all the other stuff like putting up the flaps (if they were down) went much smoother today.

The more interesting part was the trip back home to KGAI (we practice all the slow flight maneuvers closer to KFDK which is out of the SFRA). My instructor is really wanting me to navigate via landmarks and I managed to screw up quite a bit a few times 😉 The main issue is that for the past month or so I’ve only been paying half attention to the navigation issues because in my brain I’m totally dependent on GPS. However that is a BAD thing and for the local area I do need to know where the hell I am. So now that I have finally started to pay attention by locating a variety of water towers and major landmarks like Sugarloaf Mt. and a concrete plant the instructor is wanting to not tell me what is what and want’s me to figure it out myself. It was somewhat annoying and useful at the same time. I think the instructor was getting kind of annoyed (which is always fun 😉

So we are headed towards KGAI and I think we are  close but we’re not, turned out we had a strong headwind so our groundspeed was like 60kts which threw off my sense of where we were. I try to trace a line from one of the water tower’s 140 degrees which usually leads to the runway but I just could not spot the damn thing. We get reasonably close, like 5 miles until I actually see the airport, to which the instructor responds “about time”. And then I immediately manage to lose it from view. We fly a little more and then I finally spot it again when we are about 2 miles out.

Last but not least we come in to the pattern and he wants me to do a soft field landing. I was a little dazed and confused from the previous navigational excitement so I didn’t do terribly well. We get to the final too high and I’m at an ok speed but off center. I come down and pull up because we are trying to touch down very softly but I pop it back up too high and the instructor says “I have the controls”. I was pretty annoyed at that cause one thing for sure I could have brought the plane down fine but I think since he is still not used to me he likes taking over. Anyway learned a bunch of good stuff and got some good experience. Next time more pattern work so I will get those short and soft field landings down.


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