Archive for January, 2012

Poweron Stall…oops

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Had a good long lesson today…flew out to Fredrick.

Was supposed to do some power on stalls and I managed AGAIN to screw up and not remember exactly what to do. Instructor got a tad annoyed. I was annoyed because I had actually reviewed the procedures with some practice sheets the school gave me a long time ago. The settings on the sheets for example reducing speed to 1500RPM were not what I was being told now…go to 1200RPM. GRRRRR.

Anyway the sheets were not the problem I just got a tad confused between power on versus power off stalls and so on. We practiced some more emergency landings at KFDK and I was ok not great but not that bad. We headed back to KGAI and I did a couple of steep turn practices also not so good as it was a long time since I did those.

Last but not least did a short field landing and did ok, I at least hit a little bit past the numbers and was able to exit the runway at the first taxiway. Onward.

Categories: Lessons

That Battery’s Fried

January 9, 2012 1 comment

Get to the airpark and am told to take N52632 an ole’ reliable plane that’s one of the two planes I’ve flown the most. Check everything out no problem. The temperature was cold but not awful, it was about 32 or 34F not freezing. Pushed the primer twice and pushed in the throttle a few times like usual. Flip the main electrical switches on, turn the key, COUGH COUGH. The plane turns the prop a little bit but it doesn’t turn over. Instructor not happy. We wait about 10 seconds prime it a little more, turn the switches on, turn the key and COUGH. Only onece this time. Instructor declares that the battery is fried. Apparently this thing is not like a car where you can try cranking for a little longer. Apparently yesterday also (unbeknownst to me) the plane also had some starting issues.

I thought we’d have to scrub the flight but instructor says hang tight and he calls in the mechanic to drive over a battery charger thingy (that’s a technical term) that he plugs into the side of the plane and with that jump we’re off and running!

Start off with a reasonable short field takeoff and I’m told to head off to Carroll County (KDMW). From Gaithersburg it’s about 30 degrees east of Fredrick so I didn’t have too much of a problem navigating there. We do some power on stalls which I did fair at, and then reach KDMW. Did about 3 emergency landing practices there, one as a go around and it was a good bunch of practices. I started high on one and much lower for an other and all the different scenarios were quite instructive. I did OK not great but in general much better then the previous lesson.

Back to KGAI and nothing unusual except for some amusing chatter on the radio. While listening to Potomac Approach someone called in and says crossing over or something like that..and the approach asks “you need SFRA code?” and he responds…”I’m already in the SFRA” !!! Most amusing. Pretty sure it was a jet and he did know what he was doing from the tone of the chatter…but I can imagine if I had that situation the F15’s would be coming quickly.

As we get close to KGAI all was normal except another instructor from the same school was in a plane and sounded like he was at the same altitude and also approaching the 45 to runway 14 just as we were. We couldn’t find him and kept talking to him (or his student I’m not sure)….and he kept on giving his position in fairly useless ways. We just continued past the airport a bit until we could finally figure out what he was doing…my instructor was mostly annoyed at him which was amusing for me to watch!

Did a short field landing and did reasonably well not quite what I wanted, a tad too slow in the end but I hit the runway pretty good and was able to exit at the first taxi way, a sign of a good short landing. Brought the plane to the school’s hanger so they could fix the battery and that’s all for the today.


Categories: Uncategorized

Emergency Practice and Stall Fail

January 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Off to the Wooley gate today to practice emergency landings. (been there done that) Nothing unusual on the way to Fredrick (KFDK) and I spotted the runway pretty well, and navigated there just fine without the GPS thank you very much.

So on the pre-brief my instructor pointed out what he wanted me to do for distances and altitudes and some techniques to lose altitude when your engine is out. (gaining altitude with no engine is somewhat problematic)

He has me come in very high (2000AGL) to KFDK and pulls the throttle I raise the nose to 65kts and turn off carb heat. All is well but I’m kinda slow in the brain figuring out what to do in terms of losing altitude. I would have been happy to just mozy on the downwind but eventually figured out to do some S-turns and then lower 10 degrees of flaps. I wind up putting all the flaps down too quickly but manage a fairly reasonable landing. Instructor was not that happy…he’s getting grumpier these days.

We go around for another and I screw up coming in too high and we do a go around and I get yelled out for my go around technique…which I haven’t done in quite a while..sigh.

Go around for another try starting lower this one at 1500MSL and just the altitude much better turn from downwind to crosswind to final fine but kinda screw up the height aspect again. He really wants me to hit a specific portion of the runway as opposed to just getting the plane down which throws me a tad. I did wind up with a spectacular smooth slow landing however that he did like.

After the emergency practices we go to practice a stall in the landing configuration and as this was totally not in my brain, I manage to screw up thinking what to do when. I eventually figure it out with some hints and do the stall flying fine. But overall not good.

We head back to Gaithersburg and I navigate pretty good without the GPS. We get to the 45 for runway 14 and I’m told to do a short field landing. Which I was very glad to hear because I wanted to nail it. So I manage to screw it up pretty good. I level out on the final too high don’t drop down quick enough and land wayyyyyy too far down the runway. Grrrrr.


Categories: Uncategorized