Thursday, February 26, 2015

N162HG 2.2 Solo

I ignored Bob's (and others') advice to keep my lessons short, and did 2.2 of solid short takeoffs and landings -- 16 of them to be specific -- in the pattern at KPAO. It was early-ish morning and rather quiet. My checkride is coming up in a few days and I'm really eager to drill the last deficiencies out of myself come hell or high water.

Early in the day, there was no wind but it was bumpy. I got into a habit of flying at 55 kias for a "normal" approach, cutting power and slowing to 50 kias when "over the obstacle", and aiming for my spot. With no wind, aiming for the beginning of the runway grassy area was probably the best, and would get me a touchdown just beyond the numbers. I ended up getting a "Nice landing, Skycatcher" from a waiting Cirrus. Nice!

Later, the wind started picking up. I had one landing where I didn't realize I was in an xwind, corrected a bit too late, and over-corrected back, and came down on one wheel. I got an "Ooh!" from someone on the parallel.

Good to know there's a peanut gallery. :)

Towards the end of my day, there was a pretty steady 6-ish knot headwind, and I was able to target the runway threshold and touch down, again, just beyond the numbers.

So I think these are my no-wind and moderate-wind setpoints for executing the maneuver for my checkride, and hopefully as I progress post-checkride I can move on to being able to make my judgements for more varied conditions and with greater precision.

As I was leaving, the CFI who looked at my paperwork asked me how it went. And ... reminded me that part of short landings is ditching flaps and braking after landing, not just floating down. I've done this before, but for some reason it escaped my mind today. In the next couple of days I have some more flights, and I'll try to do this "ritual" once or twice and I think that should be it.

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