Saturday, June 28, 2014

N162HG 1.2 Bob

Closed traffic at KPAO, 2 full stops and a bunch of T&Gs. I had some reasonable landings and some bad ones.

We had a pretty stiff but steady crosswind towards the later part of the lesson, which gave me a good feel for the need to crab, and the need to change to a slip at the end. I also got more feel for the way the airplane's yaw is sort of "heavy" and has a lot of momentum, so once it gets swinging one way or the other, it's hard to swing it back without serious fighting. So again, the thing to remember is: Lots of high frequency, firm but not excessive adjustments, and stay alert and don't let the plane get away from me in the first place.

Need to rotate gradually on takeoff, starting just under the 50 kias required. Do not wait till rotation speed then jerk backward -- I did that once and the stall horn squeaked momentarily.

In turns in the pattern, I let the nose wander higher. Pay attention!

On very short final, when I'm in my "oh crap crap crap I'm off center and not lined up" maneuvering, I have a tendency to be like, "but wait, I'm not ready to land yet!" and raise the nose. Do not do that! Keep the nose low all the way until touchdown.

Once touched down, keep back pressure until the elevator is full nose up!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

N162HG 1.9 Bob

Long-ish training flight from KPAO via the KSJC Charlie (I went through the Charlie! Yay!) to South County (E16). Did a few touch and goes, a couple of them with Bob managing the engine while I tried to stay on the runway centerline. Did one full stop so I could park the plane and go pee in the Port-A-Potty. Got back in the air, made a straight out departure to a straight in at KPAO.

I had maybe one good landing. The rest were questionable. But I feel like I'm getting better at mastering the plane near the ground. I realized that some of my problems are due to the plane yawing right when I cut power right at the end. My flares are not as good as they should be yet. My landing at KPAO was rather weird given that I didn't have the normal pattern setup. I tried a slip to burn energy on one of my approaches and it sort of worked, except that my speed got too low. I slipped in the "wrong" direction -- to the left so I could not see the runway! -- but hey.

We shared the pattern with an Embraer Phenom who was doing a straight-in landing at South County, and we passed by a Zenith CH701 STOL homebuilt parked there on the way out. From the cowling, I suspect it had a Corvair engine. There was a banner tow advertising Trojan condoms over KPAO when we were coming back, and Moffett and Palo Alto told us to report traffic in sight and avoid them. (It was not all that hard....)

I keep forgetting carb heat. I skip checklist items sometimes. I have trouble with leveling out if I am in any way distracted by anything. But when I'm calm, things go well. I just need more practice, but I guess I'm making progress. The main thing today was to get to the point where I could stay on the runway centerline, and I think I'm doing okay at that finally (with some wobbliness when I cut power, like I said). I reminded myself to "dance" on the rudder pedals, which is something I was able to do okay in the C152 when I switched to the Flycatcher. I guess this is just the cost of switching to a new airplane early in my training.

One thing I find annoying about the G300 is that the speed and altitude "windows" just wobble around like crazy with numbers going every which way. They tend to attract my attention, so it's hard for me to focus on the plain tapes, which give a broader and more stable view of what the values are. I wish they got rid of the stupid windows with the rolling numbers and just had a pointer on a scale.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

N162HG 1.8 Bob

I haven't been flying for a while due to a combination of work and family pressures. I would really like to push forward to solo at the moment, taking lessons at least 3 times per week, but it's been really hard to make the time. Bob also travels often. So anyway, we do what we can.

Today we took off a little before 10am and flew for quite a while, doing a whole bunch of landings. A few of the approaches were reasonable and I'm getting the hang of capturing my altitude and speed as I buzz around. I think I'm finally sort of getting close to where I was back when I was flying the C152.

I had a couple of approaches where speed control was abysmal, and a couple where things were set up really nicely. For the most part, I think that part of things is coming together. The next thing is learning to maintain centerline and forward direction as we approach the runway, and that's really hard for me right now.

Bob agreed we should find a quiet runway for our next lesson to buzz down and practice controlling aircraft position and heading.