Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No Flat Landings!

Saturday,Feb. 4, 2006

For some reason I lost my February 4th post on my no flat landings review. Ok here goes, I'll try to repost it.

Saturday morning bright and early, as always, I am off to my lesson. Not to sure what's in store today, maybe short and soft field landings. I arrive a bit early and my CFI pulls in the next parking spot. Off we go to the office and Bill leads with, "so, how was your solo time on Friday"? Hmmmm....well my first landing stunk, to fast and lost comm1 so I was semi distracted by my own doing but landed ok. I graded that one a c-. Why didn't you go around, he asked. I answered I was in good shape, nice ALT, aligned fine, just a bit fast. I set it down and only while trying to get on center did I "skip" a bit and heard the mains chirp. I wasn't exactly happy with that. OK, he then asked how about the rest of your landings? Well, the next four were really nice, I grade myself a "B", speed right on, alignment right on, over the numbers and not even a chirp....in fact I had to add power to make the taxiway(feeling really good at this point). Really? I had my spies, He says, you landed FLAT! Flat? I ask. Yes, flat, as a matter of fact if you were the slightest bit nose low you would have bounced down the runway, if not you could have eaten up the nose wheel. Yikes! I didn't think I was that "flat" I was low and slow it felt right. Bill did say the approach looked great except for the flat landing. The roundout was good and flair started nice then I just rode it out without holding it off longer. All in all not bad but lets go correct the flats.

Off we go in 46C for a few rounds of low slow passes over the length runway 9. That's right, I had to hold it off and maintain 50 kts. Well the first round I looked like a drunk sailor, rudder was begging me to be gentle, but I would hear nothing of it. Bill said get it together, go round and have at it again. Off we go as I take out the first notch of flaps. As I gain speed and clear obstacles I go to remove the next 10* and bump it all the way....GRRRrrrr. Bill tells me to use the thumb and first finger always, they will act as a safety stop. OK, I'll work on that starting right now. Bill also insists that I "Squash the ball" get coordinated, I need to focus!

I am wondering what the heck I'm doing, I went from feeling good about my progress to all thumbs (except for the flap control). I work the pattern and settle down turning a bit early for my final but with the winds I didn't want to blow out wide. Ok, low and slow under control, gentle rudder, adding power, nose up, real nice, looks good. Ok take us around. Off I go mastering the two finger flap control and again working that pattern for all I can. With a good tailwind on the downwind I again start the landing procedures a bit early, checking fuel, mixture, lights then right into power back to 1500 and settle followed by 10* of flaps and settle, a quick turn on the trim and I am looking for clear right to turn base. On base I add another notch of flaps, speed good rate of decent good and crabbing for the wind. A early turn to final then the last notch of flaps when I thinbk I have the runway made. Bill says we will full stop this time. I am looking good, lined up nice and I hold it off over the numbers, removing all power, sinking and holding it off with gentle movements (ok, more gentle then most times) and I hear the stall horn start to moan. Nose up, getting the picture correct in my mind and understanding what I need to do, I hear the stall horn moan even louder, but not steady then just an instant later I hear the chirp of the mains, holding it off I then let the nose wheel find its way to touchdown. Very cool !!!!! I need to have a face full of cowling when the angle is correct. Off we go for a few more rounds and each one gets better, I guess I needed that picture reinforced in my minds eye. Bill gives me an atta boy when complete and stresses the need to hold it off as long as I can. He reminds me to see that same picture every time, just like when I am on final, the same picture every time. Consistency is the key!

I am up again tomorrow (Sunday).

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