Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cleaning up the Maneuvers...

MONDAY MAY 22, 2006

Monday finds a 4:00 lesson on the calendar ! Bill and I chat about the checkride, reviewing the groundschool/oral test prep and a mock checkride. I am feeling pretty good today as I complete the preflight and run up. Bill asks for a shortfield takeoff so at the hold short I run through my last checks and add a notch of flaps. He also instructs me to climb to 3000 feet and proceed to my first checkpoint as if heading towards KSBY. Ok, I am armed with my headset, logbook a mini flashlight in my headset bag and my checklist. Feeling unprepared and not sure it was intended that way but that's how I felt, I simply tuned in the DQO VOR at 114.00 ID'ed it and set my heading to south which I had set up on my CDI. Bill asked what the airspace was and limits. I responded the outer ring of the class Bravo for PHL is 4000 feet, We will be well clear at 3000 and as we make our first checkpoint KILG we will be clear of the class Bravo. Heheheh......I was ready. Once in sight of our checkpoint he asked me to proceed in a safe direction to perform maneuvers. I picked the southern practice area located southwest of 40N Chester County. First maneuver he asked for was slow flight. Here comes the brain fart! I check left and right but did not perform a clearing turn. My CFI made mention of the shortest checkride or something to that effect. Yikes, I said lets do a clearing turn here and I went 90* left and then right, NOW I was ready.

Slow flight was first with power set to 1500 rpm I slowly added flaps and was on my way at 50 kts. increasing to 2000 rpm to hold both of us up there,I performed a 90* turn each direction and then was asked to show an approach stall. With wings level I slowly rotated the nose up, holding off for the stall followed by the nose down, full power holding it just under the horizon. I moved my right hand back and forth from throttle to flaps as I gained speed and held my starting point altitude. Next on the list was steep turns. Mind you it was windy and bumpy today and I felt like I was chasing the plane to hold a steady ALT. Ok, 3200 a point of reference on the horizon I begin banking 45*. I glance in and I am about 100 feet low and climbing back as I roll out to my point. Bill said here is something that will help me with my steep bank turns. He states his plane and I confirm. He sets up like I did banks 45* then adds three swipes of nose up trim.........He shows me hands off and there we are turning ever so sweet without all that work. Hmmm......ok my plane and my turn. I try left and right steep banks with very nice results.

Time to head for home!! I tune in the MXE VOR and track home, turning to enter on a 45* for downwind 27. Bill acknowledges great call but how do they know where you are. I'm thinking, what did I miss, so I run it by out loud without pressing the button. "Brandywine traffic, Cessna 2746C 4.5 miles entering on 45 for runway 27 downwind , Brandywine traffic"....ok what did I miss? I missed the direction as in from the South West. I make a mental note of that.

On final my CFI asks for a softfield landing. I hear him and continue on, thinking shortfield? softfield......what did I hear? He reminds me that we need speed, he asked for SOFT field. Heck I am just fighting the crosswind and slipping my way in. Lined up nice using more hands and feet then I think I own with throttle control banking right and left rudder. Over the numbers pulling power and nose up with the stall horn moaning.......yeah nice! I hold the nose off but not long enough so my CFIl reminds me to get that nose wheel up there.

Time for the paper work and a follow up discussion. My CFI suggests a bit of practice by myself for a confidence boost and make some cue cards with the steps for each maneuver.Bill said its best to call them out as I run through each step that way it will become second nature to me. I liked the tip so I will type up a sheet for my practice flight.

Scheduled for Tuesday,Wednesday and Thursday. I get canceled due to winds today on a perfect looking day, Mr. President is in town Wednesday late afternoon early evening so that trashes tomorrow night after work and I'm back up with Bill on Thursday so he can see how my practice has paid off.........um....ok.....maybe armchair flying has paid off.

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