Tuesday, August 26, 2014

N162HG 1.2 Bob

Uneventful pattern work at KPAO. Bob did not touch the controls; I was able to do all the work. One tiny snafu where I was reading back my T/O clearance and getting on the runway at the same time, and I over-throttled because I was not paying attention; otherwise went smoothly.

Friday, August 22, 2014

N162HG Bob 1.3

Bob is back! Yet another flight around the pattern.

There was an 18 knot wind down the runway all through the flight. Luckily not much of a crosswind, but enough to make things bumpy near the ground and markedly warp my patterns.

I did not compensate adequately for crosswind on final -- I needed to turn to a crab, then remember that the final turn was going to be very small. I think it's been many, many moons since I did the rectangular pattern exercise.

When first reducing power from pattern altitude, I have a tendency to sort of "hunt" for the right speed. But the speed takes time to build up / bleed off. The correct technique is to remember and set the proper pitch attitude right away and let the speed catch up to it.

When in the flare, when I cut power, do not raise the nose! This just means I slow down massively. I need to maintain pitch or else I'll end up slowing down. (Makes sense, no...?)

Watch bank angle in the pattern. There was one time where I let my bank get more than 30 degrees while slow and turning to final. Do not do this.

Remember right rudder with throttle. Again, just as with the descent pitch attitude, anticipate that right rudder will be needed and the right foot goes forward when the right hand (throttle) goes forward!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

N162HG Emily 1.3

Another flight in the pattern.

Watch altitude under/overshoots. Given that I'm now learning better what a good approach looks like, I'm now getting into oscillations around the desired path.

Remember to aviate first -- do not fixate on traffic. As soon as I see them and register their position, if they are no factor, then look straight ahead and don't keep following them with my eyes.

Remember that I can always say UNABLE if I can't follow an instruction. I got asked to turn base at some point, which I was able to do, but just to remember -- I can say no.

I have a tendency to pull the nose up as I go over the numbers and balloon. This is not good. I think the problem is that (a) I'm a bit ground-shy, as I see the ground coming up; (b) the instructor says "flare" and I am afraid they'll take the controls if I don't so I do so early; and (c) I am simply not paying attention to the pitch attitude.

Friday, August 15, 2014

N162HG Emily 1.3

More closed pattern work with new-ish instructor.

Advice was to not fixate on traffic, and not be anxious as that causes me to be reactive. Also we discussed the need to guesstimate a "weird" pattern -- e.g. if I am asked to extend my downwind, when do I begin my descent? The idea is to imagine the pattern as a set of "squares" -- if I make the first base turn, then I begin my descent abeam the numbers; second, I begin my descent while turning base; etc. Conveniently, the Shoreline Amphitheatre is right around when you'd want to begin your descent if you come straight in.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

N162HG 1.3 Emily

Returning to flight. My usual CFI is away, so I booked 3 lessons with another one.

We did 1.3 in the KPAO pattern, touch and goes with two full stops.

Emily basically repeated what Bob has been saying all along: I am spending too much time worrying about the various distractions around me, and not concentrating on flying the airplane. I'm also getting too worried about what I "should" be able to do and not simply relaxing.

I should have rules to follow so as to get a consistent pattern. Otherwise, I'm doing each one differently.

Approach at 60 -- it's easier in the Flycatcher; lower than that and it gets wallowy.

Ascend -- runway seems less trapezoidal. Descend -- more trapezoidal.

Level off consistently, then worry about getting the right altitude.

Flare: Start looking at the far end of the runway rather than the numbers.

I have trouble seeing my "aiming point" ... I can sort of tell when I'm high or low. I had one approach that CFI called "dangerously low" once, but others were relatively okay.

As for glidepath, I tended to overshoot then oscillate around it.

We decided that next lesson would be a "good habits pattern" -- trying to just get the general feel for things, staying on the runway centerline, and buzzing the runway, not landing, so as not to have to worry about the final panic of the flare.