Home > Uncategorized > Navigating to KFDK and Soft-ish Landings

Navigating to KFDK and Soft-ish Landings

So we start off the lesson with  my instructor asking if I know how to get to Fredrick (KFDK) and I say “without the GPS?”, “yes” he replies. To which I say “not exactly but I know the general heading”. “That’s the most important thing” he says. He tells me to pull out my chart (I’ve never done that for lessons!) and I of course know where KFDK is and it’s approximate heading. He asks if I know if P40 (that’s Camp David which is in the neighborhood) is expanded to which I respond that I didn’t ask. (slap hand) Of course I did not know we were heading to KFDK and he asks if I know all the weather and NOTAMS and such, and of course I didn’t exactly know however I’m on an email list and knew that nothing odd was going on. I also did know the weather conditions via an earlier lookup on the iPad. Anyway his point was to get all the info and I can’t argue with that.

So we head off to KFDK just fine and I navigate reasonably. I even pretty much spot the KFDK runway (for a change) and get into the pattern there pretty good. I’m supposed to do a soft field landing and I don’t land with the nose high the first couple of times but by the 3rd time I actually figured out the thing and landed nose high. I seem to have a tendency to let the plane land as opposed to keeping it off the ground (letting it bleed speed as your supposed to do).

Also did, or attempted to do, a short field landing and I kinda botched that up because in my brain I figure that after the (mythical) obstacle just get to the runway numbers. However you’re supposed to level out at the desired altitude to clear the obstacle then after clearing kill the throttle and keep the speed at 60rpm, round-out and then hit the numbers. I have no doubt of my ability to actually land on a short runway, as I’ve done it a few times, but getting the proper technique down is kinda tricky.

We head back to KGAI and I do fine and actually spot the runway way ahead of time which is a real change! The navigation back was not too bad just questioned a few landmarks but I’m getting there. As we get to the pattern I’m supposed to do another short-field landing and I do better but still have issues rounding out at the right time. Onward!

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