Thursday, August 04, 2005

"S" Turns and Circles about a point

It's a busy day at work trying to tie up any loose ends and at the same time switch gears to a flying frame of mind. After a quick change into shorts and sneakers I grab my flight bag and I'm ready to go. Landings have been on my mind all day, serving as that filler when your brain takes a break from everyday activities, like between conversations, driving from job to job, or listening to someone that sounds like Charlie Browns mom. My pre flight only discovers that 80121 is a quart low on oil so Dave fills her up and we are ready to climb in. I really mean climb in! Trying to fold my legs into this bird is tight, with minimum clearance between seat and door. Once in I buckle my belts and follow my checklists. Turning on the A/C (opening the windows) Dave and I discus todays lesson and objectives. Today is Circling about a point and "S" turns over a fixed line or roadway. Taxi to runway 28 is smooth and after run up I'm ready to go. Hey didn't miss calibrating my heading indicator or switching the transponder to "ALT". I am working at taking my time and trying to feel more relaxed at the controls, like I belong there.

Climbing out to an ALT of 1000 we make our way to a great reference point to begin a circle. Dave takes control and shows me what he expects and we discuss bank angles and wind direction and how they are related to this exercise. Ok, I'm up.....I pick out my reference points and turning a steep bank since I am with the wind I hold a nice pattern turning a medium bank and then to a shallow bank into the wind and around we go again. Hey this is fun ! I manage to keep my center point at the same location on the wing tip and having "old Glory" as a center ground point also helps with the wind direction. Ok that part complete I am off chasing a roadway that will serve as my base for a series of "S" turns. Again using the same principle with the wind at my tail a steeper bank is required then to a medium and shallow as I am wings level crossing the roadway, no time to celebrate, its now into the wind and a shallow turn then medium to steep as I am with the wind and looking to cross the road again wings level.

Ok time for some landings. I take a heading back to KMIV and notify Millville FSS of our location and intentions. Pattern work went really well today. I felt more at home on final, not holding that death grip and wanting to work the yoke. It felt good, nice approach, good speeds and alignment. On the last landing I turned from base and was right on target, the cross wind Gods had messed with me enough and decided to let me land without needing to slip my way in.
This is feeling good, looking down the runway, nose up I'm in.......I'm in.....I didn't hold long enough nose up...GRRRR....I'm thinking 121 is not a happy girl since I dropped her on the runway with a thud. ok...control...get slowed down....look for my taxiway. I roll clear the hold short and notify Millville I'm down and clear. After going through my checklist we taxi to tie down and review the last landing. Dave informs me that the last landing was all me
and asked what I needed to do to prevent dropping on the runway. I needed to hold that flair longer...listen for the stall indicator and not "fly" it to the ground.

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