Thursday, July 28, 2005

Under the Hood

Alright !! clear and sunny !! Hey what is that big shinning thing in the sky ? Ok...enough about being goofy. Pre flight time and I am trying to go through the list and only reference it as a check as I move through the procedures. I think I am getting the hang of this. I am taking fuel samples as One of the "Big Sky" folks pulls up to fuel an adjacent aircraft. Hmmmmmm...that step stool is looking mighty fine so I wouldn't have to look so awkward climbing that right wing with my bad wheel (hip). Well, I manage to get er' done, fuel looks good and hardly any sediment. Ok time to get in and sweat off a few pounds. Dave joins me as I am getting buckled in. Ok I see he has an extra package with him but I can't make it out. I give
Millville FSS a wake up call, "Millville ....Cessna 80121".....we trade questions and answers as I make mental note of wind, speed and Alt setting. Taxi out today is stable , one might "think" I can drive this baby. We pause to let a Pilot in a C-150 doing a cross country move ahead of us for take off ( he got turned around and my signage job didn't help him any)He completed his run up also so he was ready to go. We fell in behind him and did our run up. Mags, check...Carb heat, check....vac, check....last peek at the amp gauge check...instruments set, check and on through the list. Ok "millville 80121 departing 32"...full throttle......slight cross wind pushing me off centerline...rudder rudder.......speed 55 and nose up.......through 70 back pressure and I'm off.....yeah I love that feeling! Ok keeping constant rudder as we climb with Dave reminding me maintain 70 knts and nose up here......we want our best climbing angle and speed. At 1500 I bank left and head to the training area. Today is just beautiful up here. I can see tankers out
in the Delaware Bay and the ground below is so crisp and clear. Well the fun and sights are short lived as My CFI bestows upon me a pair of (as he says) Designer glasses. Hmmmmm...two small peep holes and heavy frosted top and side view. Oh yeah all the rage...but for a good cause. We spend time flying by my gauges and learning the feel of the aircraft. Dave takes control and just wants me to close my eyes and relax.....a midair siesta? Um...NO....Dave banks,climbs, slow speed banks, decent and steep turns all the time noting my response as to what I feel like we are doing. Well I am embarrassed but I didn't do as well as I thought. Dave kicked the rudder which made me feel like we were banking (we were not), I could feel the rpms picking up and
slowing down which I thought would signify climbs and decents (we were not). Ok so the point is well taken....TRUST your instruments. We talked about the JFK,JR crash and some of what went wrong. All the fun of flying I guess can make you loose perspective in that its a full time job and a giant responsibility not only to yourself and your aircraft but to passengers and fellow pilots sharing airspace. Its NO place to become complacent or take for granted a procedure or a communication received. Ok back to the lesson. Dave requests a direction home which is about 024 degrees. After communicating with FSS we learn 32 is the active and I enter the pattern. Ok procedure time as I cross mid runway and spacing good,looking at the left wing strut with the runway about 3/4 the way up I'm in the ballpark. The key now is to find my seat. Carb heat on reducing power to 1500 rpm and add notch of flaps. looking good.....heading good, speed good and altitude a tad low....adding power. Ok "millville 80121 turning base 32"..adding
a notch of flaps... rudder to align "MIllville 80121 turning final" .... rudder...keep that rudder there... "slight bank left" to correct for slight cross wind. rudder...rudder.....over the numbers....getting squared up, left main down...........hanging on .....right main down.....(that felt strange)....bleed off speed....nose up.....stall horn.....and nose gear gently down. Braking to a slow roll and turning to the taxiway. once clear the hold short I notify Millville that 80121 is down and clear. Going through my checklist, flaps up, carb heat off, transponder to standby, WINDOWS OPEN, ok I added that one. I taxi in and perform the final checklists and as 80121 comes to a stop. No need to tie down today, another lucky person is going up. I get my log book squared away, chit chat about the lesson and what's coming up and then head back to Wilmington to meet the bride for dinner.

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