Friday, May 16, 2008

Hold on, we're in for some chop!

Lesson 3

Training is going well. I flew my 3rd lesson today, and there was some goofy stuff going on at 2500 feet today. It was really a challenge to keep the old 152 on a steady course, but Jimmy said it was good practice, and I agree. We worked on some slow flight, which is essential for landing operations.

Once again I flew the plane into the pattern and the downwind, base, and final legs. Jimmy took the controls for the touchdown, and right before we crossed the threshold, the plane shot up about 50, then the wind slammed us down right towards the ground. I will say this for Jimmy - he's a hell of a pilot. He anticipated the downdraft, shoved the throttle in, finessed the little plane, and landed without incident.

Another thing that I'm working on is taxiing - nothing else on earth drives like an airplane with steerable nosegear. Being a farm boy, I've driven my fair share of equipment and I can tell you, this is very alien to me. I'm getting quite a bit better at it but it's tough. Until I can taxi well, no takeoffs or landings for me. You have to be able to hold the nose straight while you are on the runway.

I've got two lessons scheduled for next week.


Jock said...

Sounds like a hell of a landing!

You know you wouldn't think taxiing would be that difficult, but now that I think about it the single wheel in from would make things interesting.

Jim said...

Gotta love the chop. I am afraid that is the main reason I would have trouble doing the whole pilot thing. Those damn little planes make my stomach turn like nothing else. Is it like driving a car, it is no problem if you are behind the wheel, but in the back seat some people have a tendency to get sick?

I don't understand, why is it so tough to steer a plane on the ground? Not to be an ass or anything, but honestly, how is it so different?

Oh, and glad to hear you have a hell of a pilot as an instructor. That must come in handy sometimes, like not crashing and stuff.


Keith K. said...

It's hard to steer because of three reasons. First, you steer with the rudder pedals, not the yoke. That is because the steerable front wheel is interconnected with the rudder. Second, you also steer with brakes on either side. The brakes are at the TOP of the rudder pedals, so you are pushing the pedals in two different places, with two different pressures. Third, there is about a second of lag between commanding the turn and the turn initiating. My flight instructor is amazingly calm when I accidently turn towards a row of parked airplanes.

Jim said...

Gotcha. I couldn't understand what the big deal would be, but with that explanation, I completely get it now. I wonder why they don't just interconnect it with the yoke? I mean, I am sure there is a good reason, I just don't see what it is.

Keith K. said...

Because to prevent the plane from flipping during wind gust, you turn the control surfaces a certain way when the wind is from a certain direction. So you could be turning left and need to turn the wheel right to prevent the wind from getting under the airplane. Crazy!

Jock said...

Flying sounds hard. It would be easier just to hide under your bed.

In the fetal position of course.

Keith K. said...

Flying is hard. I think I'll give up because it would be easier to sit at home and watch Survivor™.

Jim said...

I sometimes watch survivor in the fetal position.