Saturday, October 4, 2014

N162HG 1.6 Dave Pre-solo phase check

Pre-solo phase check with a different CFI assigned by the club. 4 hours total, including oral exam and 1.6 of actual flight.

Flew out of KPAO, did a left Dumbarton to the practice area South of Half Moon Bay, and did steep turns and stalls. Did some pattern work at Half Moon Bay. Then returned to KPAO.

Conclusion was "pass" and "good job"! :)

Notes on oral exam

Know your Wx before coming to the airport, since you will meet with a club CFI who will ask you about your go/no-go decision. You will meet with some CFI -- likely not your usual one -- so be prepared to defend your decision to fly.

Know the wind, its trend, and your crosswind component (it's not enough to just remark that you "could" calculate the latter!). Be prepared to compare that to your solo limitations.

Day "VFR" at an airport means it is ≥ 1000 ft ceiling and ≥ 3 statute miles visibility. If the beacon is on during the day, then the field is not VFR.

Remember that written weather reports are always true (geographic) heading, whereas ATIS is always magnetic heading.

Your kneeboard should include a reference card for light-gun signals.

Keep the tower number for your home airport on your phone. If you go NORDO, you might be able to call them and tell them you're coming.

Instructor's notes flight


"good job"

T/O and landings

Normal: "very nice"

No-flap: "tail scrape, nose high attitude"

Power off to a landing: "3rd notch flaps @ 77 kts" ← This is me coming in way too high, desperately trying to recover by burning off speed, and exceeding 3rd-notch VFE = 77 kts while diving.


"clearing turns" ← I need to remember to do these before any air work.

Slow flight: "alt -100, hdg -5 degrees, full pwr recover" ← I was a bit confused about the maneuvers.

Power off stall: "hdg -20 pos rate climb" ← again a bit confused about what I was supposed to do.

Steep turn left: "-300 ft -5 deg +15 kts"

Steep turn right: "+40 ft -10 deg +10 kts"


"Tends to be high on final" ← Yep, I know! As Bob suggested, I need to work on this once I solo, bit by bit. I have become adept at using desperate measures ;) to "rescue" my approaches, but that should not, in general, be necessary every time....

My post-flight debrief notes

Use the checklist more often -- the FAA wants to see you stop and use the checklist after landing, for example, or when establishing cruise, ....

When practicing stalls, it is a goal of the exercise to hold the initial heading.

After recovery from a stall, it is a goal to establish positive climb.

The power-on stall maneuver simulates a takeoff. So start at, say, 55 kts level flight, approximating an aircraft about to rotate. Then increase power to climb, then stall, recover, and re-establish positive climb.

The power-off stall maneuver simulates a landing approach. Establish landing conditions, then stall, then show positive climb; the idea is, I'm near the ground and have stalled, and want to fly away from it and do a go-around.

Steep turns require +/- 10 kts speed control.

In the traffic pattern, use flaps earlier. Just abeam the numbers, drop the first notch of flaps and establish a descent. That way you won't come in too high every time.

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