Monday, January 19, 2015

N162HG 1.5 Solo

Relatively uneventful time in the pattern at KPAO to make sure I don't forget my landings. Wind started VRB03 and seemed to stay that way, so very calm. Busy pattern so only got to do 5 landings, plus one go-around when there was some faster IFR traffic that Tower wanted to get in behind me.

I practiced short-field technique throughout.

For the takeoffs, I think I have them pretty much down. It comes down to having the intestinal fortitude to keep the deck pointed as high as you need to, but not one bit higher. It works best to try not to build up speed in the first place, rather than to speed up above Vx then try to slow down again.

I am able to do pretty uneventful approaches, with very little of the over-controlling I had trouble with at the beginning of my training. I also actually have some modicum of control over my flares, using the "ratchet" technique of only pulling back on the stick, stopping if it's too early, and letting the plane settle, etc.

As for short field landing technique, I have concluded I have no idea how it's done. I always zoom back up when I flare, then float and float. I need to get dual demonstration of this. I suck at it, period.

On one upwind, I suddenly started to feel myself being rolled to the right a little, which shocked me for a second till I realized I was flying through the wake of a Citabria ahead of me. Nothing more than a touch of aileron to correct.

Leveling out was shaky in the first couple of patterns but got better. As I've been told many times, leveling out at some reasonably close altitude then correcting later is much better than fighting up and down.

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