Wednesday, October 19, 2005

First "seat of the pants" flight

What a difference getting right back to it in such short order. I had a 4:30 lesson this evening and it was just gorgeous. I went through the preflight and the Gatts jar dropped out of my pocket while untying the tail. I finished my preflight and went to check the fuel and could not find the jar. My CFI came out and asked if it was in the back of the seat. I said I would swear I had it but I can't find it "now". I'm thinking ok, my CFI thinks I am a nut ticket. I use the "shot glass" testing specialty . Ok, we saddle up and complete the checks and fire N2746C for my flight. Today we will be doing pattern work, yes seems like that's all I do but I need to master this to move on. I taxi out to runway 27 and announce "Brandywine Cessna 2746C departing runway 27 remaining in the pattern brandywine". Wow, what a sun glare!! I can hardly make out the trees at the other end so sun visor down and off we go. Winds out of 220 - 280 at 9 knts gusting 13...of course a cross wind but not all that bad. Geezzz did I say that???
Nice climb out tracking to 290 or so to adhere to the noise abatement until at 1200 then turning crosswind. Ahhhh...better glare is gone, for now. I'm tracking as I did in Millville, picking out some reference points and keeping a good Altitude. Landing one has me slipping with the wings bank slight left and adding right rudder, feels good, looks good, throttle out, hold it off....I'm down. Well not to shabby I guess and I am off for rounds two and three.

My CFI decides to try something different this time, trying to cure my look at the instrument-itis. He wants me to seat of the pants it, listen and look. Get the picture the same each time and the sounds. Bill covers ALL the instruments, that's right nothing to look at but sky. I'm now wondering what the heck am I doing here, am I nuts? Bill gives a lil sinister laugh to break it up and tells me I'll be fine. if you say so...and oddly enough I think so too. I taxi out to 27 and turn it in the sun and off we go. Ok...look and listen.....she wants to lift off slight back pressure more right rudder and I am on my way, very smooth. Climb out focusing on my point on the horizon and looking left to see the mansion in the correct location and the housing development in the right place put me near a 280-290 course. Altitude is not there yet, still climbing out looking like my 1200 ALT. I turn crosswind and feel like I am at altitude so I level off and pull back power. Looking for my position and reference point I turn downwind and set up for my landing. Landing/taxi lights on, abeam the numbers, throttle back to 1400 adding 10 degrees of flaps, one spin on the trim for nose up...everything is flowing nice. I check my position and turn base adding 10 more degrees of flaps when level. Looking good....turning final and adding the last 10 degrees of flaps, slight bank left, right rudder, I'm slipping in, nice rate of decent and pitch and speed feel good (at least in my minds eye). Dealing with the sun, keeping lied up, calling my position.....ok looking good throttle back over the numbers now and holding off. I am trying to look down the runway, glare is really bad, I flare to soon causing me to bleed of speed and I drop it on in with a thud. Grrrrrrr......not pretty but I'm in. I call clear and run through my after landing checklist. While pushing the plane back to its final spot the Gatts jar is sitting in the tie down rope for the tail. Yea I feel like a dope but hey at 48 I cant remember why.... It has to get better. I'm on the schedule for Wednesday weather permitting!!!

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