Stop and Go’s – Practice Flying

November 6th, 2014

I hadn’t flown in about a month so needed to practice take-offs and landings. General Yeager said he would rate my landings.

Gulp. :-)

As I taxied out, I listened to AWOS – 250 degrees, 6 knots – and headed to runway 3-2.

As I took the position, I heard someone calling approach in the opposite direction. I called, You do realize I am taking off. Do you see me?

Plane: Just doing approach, no problem we see you.

Me: Oh. I see you. So you’re not landing.

Plane: No.

I waited for him to pass a bit more overhead and took off, vaguely wondering what landing challenges I might have. I had gotten into a habit of flaring too high and letting it settle into the right height. Not a good method.

I had finally made myself get lower and was doing well Oct 10.

Then Oct 12, former, recent, bad habit – the wind was 15-20 right down the runway and it caused regression.

General Yeager shook his end good-naturedly after we had taxied in. “Why do you do that?”

I shook my head. I didn’t keep up my speed. Dumb. Distracted by the big headwind instead of just flying.

Today, I flew by myself. First landing, I made myself go lower. I landed on two wheels, bounced and then landed…and landed…and landed. I was fully conscious of each movement and was never feeling on the edge. The bounces were not porpoising or problematic. It was almost enough of a bounce though to add a little power.

The second landing wasn’t bad – three pointer – but then a gust of wind pushed my left wing up, headed me left. I put in left aileron, held control, and it was fine.

I taxied back to the middle line stopped.

After I checked the trim and the cockpit, I took off again.

I sorted out my pattern, came in at a nice slow speed, flared well, three point landing by kissing the ground and staying down. Stopped in time to turn off at the first turn-off.

General Yeager asked me how I did. He was really asking how I felt I did. I said First two not so good, last one just right.

He said, “Your second one was a good three-pointer.”

Me: Until the gust got me.

General Yeager smiled. We both knew – I corrected, what’s my worry?




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