Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting ready for cross country.

Flight #20

Well I gained 165 pounds again as my instructor Jimmy insisted there was more for me to learn. Today we concentrated on short and soft field takeoffs and landings. What this means is, how do you make the Cessna 152 take off safely on grass, and also, how do you take off on a short runway without mowing down the rhubarb at the end of the runway with your bright and shiny propeller?

Well, for short fields you shove in 10 degrees of flaps and hold the yoke way back and let the airplane get up into ground effect (15 feet off the ground or so), then you build up airspeed and pitch for best angle of climb. This is actually pretty fun because it rockets you upward pretty fast, or so it seems, and you're into a nice little climb over whatever nasty stuff was gettin' all up in your grill at the end of the stubby little runway.

Short field landings are what I like to call "combat landings". You come in steep and a little fast and flare hard right at the last second and land right past the threshold. It's a nice twist to a normal landing and shall prove to be challenging to master.

Soft field takeoffs are easy, in theory. You hold the yoke back at all times to keep the nose gear out of the turf (remember: grass runway) and you use 10 degrees of flaps just like short field takeoffs. Then you pitch for best angle of climb (in the case of the 152, your best angle of climb speed is 55 knots) and climb out normally. The landings are just normal landings, but "softer". So, basically, improve your landings and you're good to go.

Next lesson is VOR operations - that is, radio direction finders used for cross country navigation.

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KFCM Pattern
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Steve said...

Man, I'm gonna be all screwed up when I finally land on pavement - I'll have had like 30 straight hours in the grass by then!

Keith K. said...

I would think going from grass to paved should be pretty easy. They tell me grass is more challenging anyway.

Which airport are you going to use for towered/paved operations?