Monday, May 4, 2015

N162HG 1.9 Bob

Flight to practice checkride techniques.

We departed KPAO towards VPSUN as though this were a checkride XC. Around the Eastern edge of Fremont, Bob asked me to divert to KLVK. I circled, found the heading and distance, and flew in. We then did some closed traffic with short and soft field takeoffs and landings, and a simulated emergency short approach. We departed left crosswind to do some air work. We did some steep turns, then Bob simulated an engine out over Meadowlark airport. I picked a green striped field, but Bob said this was probably vineyards; pick another. I picked a yellow field, but was unable to make it. I then pushed on to another field, and in trying to slip, I busted flap speed momentarily. We then did rectangular patterns and turns about a point. I did mostly okay, though in one case I got the wind direction 180 degrees out and had to be reminded where the wind was blowing from. We then returned to KPAO. We encountered some clouds, with bottoms below our level, and Bob asked me what I was going to do. I had assumed I would sneak under them, but Bob noted it would not be optimal to go through the Sunol pass around 1500' MSL. I climbed to 3000' MSL then was able to burn off the altitude before landing at KPAO while still approaching the pattern at pattern altitude.

* Takeoffs and landings were okay. Tend to hold the nose a bit high and flare a bit too suddenly but okay.

* FAIL: forgot the flaps down on the short-field takeoff, and had to be reminded.

* Leveling off is shaky. Remember the procedure: anticipate and accelerate.

* Pattern emergency was okay.

* FAIL: emergency away from the airport. Failed to establish correct pattern (1500' AGL on downwind abeam landing point; 1000' AGL when turning base; 500' AGL when turning final). Said I did not have time to do engine restart, but actually I did have time. Failed to switch frequencies and transponder and broadcast Mayday. Failed to consult my GPS and recognize that I was over Meadowlark airport and could have landed there. Failed to make my intended field.

* FAIL: did not use pattern checklist. Need to show that I am using it.

* Also did not use post-landing checklist. Again, need to show that I am using it.

* During the diversion, I called into KLVK before entering their airspace so I was okay, but remember the AIM recommends calling into a Class D when 10 nm out. I could have called in as soon as I was asked to divert.

* Remember that, for emergency landings, yellow (dry grass) is best; brown (plowed) is second best; green is worst.

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