Monday, June 05, 2006

Ready For "Mock" Checkride!

The sky did not look good at all today. I thought for sure my 5:30 lesson would be a no go. I left work on time and figured on giving Maggie girl (Italian mastiff) some run time before heading north to Brandywine.

I arrive a bit early and sign in when my CFI walks in. I told him that I spent some time on slow flight and steep bank turns last week but with the haze and poor visibility I decided it was best to come back to the airport and beat myself up landing. He got a chuckle out of that and then I proceeded to tell him Saturday was a no go due to weather CIG at 3400, not much room for stalls and cloud clearances.

I stated that my plan today was stalls, power on and power off or departure and approach. I departed runway 9 at Brandywine after announcing and I heard a helicopter announce departing the taxiway. I figure ok, I have the corner of the building in sight and the helo should peek around and taxi off to my right. I am just about wheels up and the helo comes out across the taxiway heading towards the runway. I am already airborne as I key up and call 2746C DEPARTING runway 9 will break away left. The helo (medical) realigns with the taxiway and climbs out. I can not see him with the high wing so I ask helicopter departing to say position response. I bank farther left to get the wing up higher to take another look for the traffic at my 4 o' clock. He is departing to the south east. What a smacked A$$. acting as if I was not there I guess means it's ok.....

I am off towards my first check point, New Castle Airport (ILG) utilizing the DQO VOR to simulate a flight plan for lower Delaware. Once on course and about 2800 feet I turn west and head out to the practice area about 4 miles or so south of Chester County (40N). After clearing turns I set up for some slow flight. Power back to 1500, holding level bleeding speed I add flaps and trim for 50kts. A slight adjust on the power and I am ready for some gentle turns each direction followed by climbs and descents. Ok, back to straight and level and time for approach/power off stalls. Slowly raise the nose, stall horn , buffet...mush for controls and she breaks. quickly yoke forward with full power holding below the horizon ...positive air speed and I remove a notch of flaps at a time moving that right hand back to the throttle each time. Not to shabby....didn't loose much ALT at all. I do a few more rounds then decide to practice power on. All cleaned up and throttle back to 1500 bleeding speed. Ok about 70 kts now I add 85% throttle and continue pitching up. Keeping the yoke coming back and the ball centered with right rudder the stall horn screams out and 46C breaks. Quickly yoke forward followed by a touch of left rudder to correct for the break to the right....gaining airspeed and coming to level flight. I then adjust rpm for cruise and realign myself in the east west flow and look for reference points.

I practice each maneuver a few times making sure I have a "brisk" forward yoke movement for stall recovery. Time to head for home as I bank right to come to an easterly heading. I dial in the Modena (MXE VOR) for the direct TO at 100*. Passing over the VOR at 2500 I keep the head on a swivel and run a parallel course to the runway for N99. Checking for traffic I turn towards N99 on a 4 mile 45* entry for right downwind runway 9 and....and....I FINALLY remember to call my dang direction from the south east!!! I enter the pattern all alone and run through my checklists. Abeam the approach of r/w 9 I throttle back to 1500 and run through the landing procedures. Lined up on final looking good....65 kts today just adding enough to get me there I set down and decide to pass on braking hard for shortfield and instead taxi long to my turn off. I call clear r/w 9 and perform the after landing checks. I have some time left for maybe one more round so instead of ending on a good note I tempt fate. Leaping off the ground and flowing in the pattern my confidence is gaining. Turning final now with speed really good and trimmed out nice, I am just settling my way to the numbers. Pulling what power is left I flair really nice, then as I sink I flair a bit to much and float....remember no real airspeed now and 46C plops on the ground as if to say great job nitwit! Grrrrrr...not happy with that but I decide to call it a day. I taxi back and tie down still shaking my head in disgust. All locked up I give 46C a pat on the cowl and promise not to do that to her again.

I will call for a mock checkride tomorrow..........I'll post the date!

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