Thursday, September 25, 2008
Happy Funtime Jamboree.
I had my second flight with my new instructor, "Dan", and it was essentially a checkout for solo flight in the Piper Warrior. We did a couple of stalls, some slow flight, and three landings.
Now, I've expressed some grumpiness at the Warrior's landing characteristics, but I think the light bulb switched on today. My first landing was a "normal" Warrior landing for me: straight, but a little bumpy, and kind of fast. Now that last element, landing too fast, was the key to figuring it all out. You see, I was flaring too flat, getting on the ground quickly, and speeding down the runway WAAAAY too fast. I couldn't figure out why I was using up so much runway (not a good thing if I ever want to land on a shorter runway).
My second landing was awful and there's no need to whip that dead horse here.
My third landing I started my flare, but over flared just a hair. I kept the yoke back, held the flare, and then slowly started letting it out. Turns out, when you hold the flare that long, you can "grease" the landing and that's what I did. Also, flaring slows the plane down better than the brakes, and I used a lot less of the runway.
So, now I'm endorsed to fly the Warrior solo, and my next lesson is a ground session with Dan to get ready for my Stage 2 Check Ride.