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.

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