Expect Left Traffic

Flights 40 & 41 – Unusual Attitudes

Pitts-Hang

I’m not talking about mouthing off to my instructor, or even anything as drastic as this Pitts Special.  I got in another .4 hours of instrument time about two weeks ago, and recovering from unusual attitudes was part of the time.  My instructor played the part of ATC, and vectored me out north and west, presumably to the practice area.  Next we did two climbing turn recoveries and one diving under the hood.  Recovery is the same as when you can see, but you have to recognize the condition on the artificial horizon after being tossed around a bit by your instructor.  I have to admit, this was the one time that I felt a little queasy since starting all this.  Once I got to open my eyes it quickly went away and I focused on the task at hand.  For a climbing bank, the goal is to increase power while lowering the nose and then leveling the wings.  In the one diving turn we did, you reduce power, level the wings and then pull up.  The idea is to slow the plane down and reduce the wing loading before attempting to pull up.  747bnk Many a plane has lost it’s wings trying to recover from this state while disoriented in the clouds.  These procedures help us prevent get back to straight and level flight so we can then spend some time troubleshooting how we got in this situation in the first place.  Usually that means not paying enough attention to what were doing in the first place.  We must never forget to fly the plane first and foremost, above all other concerns.  If I drop a pen I can always grab another, or search after the plane has been trimmed and I’ve taken a look for traffic and clouds.  After that we tracked an ADF, then intercepted the VOR back to BJC.  When we got the hood off I was amazed at how far out we were, but we were pointing right at the airport.  I called up to get the latest ATIS, and it was business as usual after that.

Flight 41 was some more landing practice.  I’m getting a little better at my soft-field work, though my spot landings aren’t quite bang on.  Or, when they’re spot on they’re a little too bang on as I’ve almost flown the plane right in to the ground.  Hopefully all the slip practice I got last week will help with my comfort level on final approach, and things will start coming together better. 

I still need to put together a post for my cross country to Akron.  Next on the plate is some night flight and a night cross country, probably to Colorado Springs.  I just need to get some scheduling figured out between work, doctors and my instructor.

October 21st, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

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