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I took off for a little solo work on short field/soft field stuff and after 4 laps, Karen had me pull in so she could join in the fun. We stayed in the pattern and worked on short field/soft field some more, but after it got dark, the short landings were too difficult to judge, so we stayed away from them and concentrated on soft field. Not too bad, but the timing on the flare needs a little work. The dark made my flare a bit higher than usual and I really only did one that would have been considered passing. But at least we were getting night landings and time taken care of.
Just about the time I headed back to the airport, Karen called me back in anyway and I entered the pattern to set up for a soft field landing. It was fairly dark by this time so I flipped on the landing light and proceeded to make one of the worst landings I have ever done. Ballooned it from the flare and dropped it very hard and a bit sideways onto the asphalt. Nothing broken, but I was embarrassed and am very frustrated with the quality of my night landings. And of course Randall and Karen were both outside watching me come in and saw the whole thing.
Karen hopped in and had me do one more landing to boost my confidence back. Then I put the hood down and we headed towards Cartersville while I redeemed myself somewhat with a fairly good instrument session. I held my altitude and the VOR needle real close even with the crosswind. Then we turned back and flew the ADF approach into Cherokee but Karen had neglected to change the radio to 123.00 and we had to abort the approach when she realized it. There was traffic on the runway and we were too close to them by now to continue. So after they took off and departed, we entered the pattern and landed. Again, a lousy landing, but nowhere near as bad as my earlier one.
After awhile, Karen had Darrell get in with me since she was with another student, and practice engine failures. I think I made a good impression on him with my pattern work and landings, but I sure need more engine failure practice. I let my airspeed get way below 80 mph a few times and still have trouble with nosing over just before applying flaps. They are fun now, so it shouldnt be too long before I get it down pat. Establish best glide, turn toward the landing spot, check instruments, try to restart and make call on 121.5, when the runway is assured nose down and apply 30 degree flaps, slip left to runway. Remember to maintain at least 80 mph until over runway.
We did some short field landings too, and I guess I have been making it hard on myself by visualizing the 50 obstacle very close to the runway threshold, which is not exactly the way the approach is designed to be flown. Picturing the obtacle a little farther back makes the whole thing a bit easier mentally and in reality.
lost, she said, tell me where we are. I grabbed my
sectional and plotter from the back and took a real long time trying
to get it open to the right place and hold the airplane straight and
level. She just laughed. Finally, she grabbed the map and helped out
so we stayed under reasonable control. Then I tuned in a couple of VORs
but forgot to flop them so they became the active frequency. Oops. Flopped
them and then found where we were.
few minutes, she called for a simulated engine failure and I picked
out a marginally decent field within glide distance and established
best glide, turned toward it, simulated instrument checks and radio
call, and then she called it off before we got too low. Then we climbed
back up to altitude where we did a few S-turns. Turning toward home
and back over the airport we simulated another engine failure. Passable,
but the landing wasnt real smooth. Back up for another try and
this time at the last second, she also called a soft field landing.
No problem, which kinda surprised her I think.
We flew through pattern altitude to 3500' and headed east to practice maneuvers. Stalls and slow flight to begin and then S turns and Turns Around A Point. Theres still lots of practice to be had on stalls and I think I need to just take more authoritative control of the plane after the stall begins to minimize my altitude loss. Im so used to doing everything slowly and deliberately that when I do stalls that way, I lose a hundred feet in no time, which is not good enough for the checkride.
After practicing about a half hour, I kicked her out at Cherokee and headed back out to practice some more of the same. Before I knew it, Karen was calling me back in because I was 15 minutes past due. I was concentrating so much, I had forgotten completely about the time. Back in again with a passable landing considering the crosswind.
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