Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Landing strut stress test.


Lesson 10

We had a nice, long, hot flight today. The temp was topping 88 degrees and the air conditioner in the Cessna 152 wasn't...uh...installed. Our goal for this lesson was to review everything I've learned, as I have a stage check coming up very soon. I did pretty well in everything but I got a bad start with my S-turn, started late and didn't watch altitude, so my instructor let me try it again. I also got to do more "hood" work, or instrument flight, and although it's hard, and I tend to climb a bit steep, I didn't stall and I was able to do everything Jimmy asked me to do with the hood on.

So, then I got to do three full stop / taxi back landings. This means I land as normal, and taxi back to the runway for a normal take off.

The first landing, well what can I say, was very good. I was able to adjust for the 15 knot gusts (slight crosswind but mostly on the nose). The rudder was my friend and I ended up perfectly aligned and in a perfect flare. That's a great feeling, making a landing like that in challenging conditions. Unfortunately, I didn't quit while I was ahead.

Let me preface my summaries of landings two and three by saying this: my approaches are generally pretty good. I'm getting the hang of the forward slip and keeping the plane straight. But, with these gusts, sometimes all the factors pile up and I make the ugliest damned landings you could imagine. At this point I'll just say there was bouncing and ballooning and crabbing and leave it at that. The important part is I got the plane down both times with no damage and no injury. But I'm going to practice until all my landings have more in common with landing #1 than #2 and #3.

From here, we go to written test prep (next lesson), and then a stage check which is to make sure I have the skills needed for solo flight. At that point, Jimmy will determine what I need to improve or practice before endorsing me for solo flight. I'm seeing landing practice in my future.

And, on a side note, this is the most fun I've had, uh, ever.

6 comments:

Jock said...

Your score is inadequate, you'll have to repeat the mission.

Rob said...

I talked to some of our steel suppliers about the struts, and I found out they are made from a poly-mimetic alloy invented by Cessna. According to the trade mags, they have recently licensed its use to a company called Cyberdyne Systems. Not sure what they do...

Keith K. said...

Oh no...the prophecy has come to pass! All is lost...

gnsrevl said...

You should rename this blog the "Can't Land If Someone Sneezes Dutchman".

Keith K. said...

Who is this mysterious "gnsrevl" who seeks to change my blog name to various insulting monikers?

Jock said...

Flying is fun. Flying terminators aren't. We should out law them.