Monday, June 23, 2008

The one where they switch the instructor.

Lesson 9

I got a call today from my flight school and they told me that my normal instructor, Jimmy, was stuck in New York because of bad weather (commercial flight). So they told me that they assigned me Bill, who was to be my original instructor before all the craziness with him not being checked out in a Cessna 152 (hilarity!).

Well at this point I'm not all that excited about getting a lesson from an instructor that I'm not familiar with, but the syllabus is pretty rigid and each flight follows the syllabus, so I figured it would be OK. Also, the weather was warm and winds were calm.

Our objectives were emergency procedures, such as engine failure / fire, and electrical fire. We spent about 45 minutes on picking places to land (we're in farm country so it's not all that hard) and setting up for landing in Farmer Lundquist's bean field. Also, on takeoff he said "oops your engine just seized up, pick a landing spot NOW", and luckily, I was able to pick a nice smooth landfill (covered up) just past the end of the runway.

The other emergencies are pretty straightforward, remembering to fly the plane first, then go through the checklist for the particular problem.

Then we got to do three landings. The first landing I did not flare enough and we hit pretty hard. I don't know what the C152 gear struts are made of but it is stern stuff. So, we took off again and this time I tried to concentrate on the flare and the rudder, and keeping the damned nose off the ground a bit (nosewheel shimmy). Flare was a bit flat but the landing was nice and straight. We hit quite a bit softer than the first one, so I was pretty much feeling good.

And now I'll tell you about the perfect landing I spoiled. I flew a good pattern, got the plane set up for landing, executed a workable forward slip-to-land without Bill's help, and was just crossing the numbers when my brain went "you're not going to make it!" so I goosed the throttle. Bill goes "no don't do that!" and took the controls for a second to re-establish the glide slope, and then I put it down in a fairly smooth landing that was a bit fast, but otherwise decent.

I guess in the grand scheme, I'd rather err on the side of throttle and have to go around or use a bit more runway, than not be sure and hit the ground in front of the runway. But of course, practice will help my confidence and my ability to judge my glide slope better.

Having Bill pinch hit for Jimmy wasn't a big deal, but I'll be happy with Jimmy back as my instructor.


Jock said...

The first time that you landed and it was a little rough, did you instructor say "Your score is inadequate, you'll have to repeat the mission."

Keith K. said...


Jim said...

I hope every time you looked at Bill it was with a nasty scowl.

Steve said...

I will say that it can be good to go up with multiple instructors... I'm training with two and they explain things differently enough sometimes to help me with a little point here or there. Seems to be good for my training overall.