Tuesday, August 11, 2015

N162HG 2.1 Flight to Byron with Rodrigo

I've been meaning to fly with various friends. This week, my family is away, so I have lots of time. I started the week with a bit of a virus or something, so I was not up to taking to the air, but today I felt okay. On the spur of the moment, I asked my pilot friend Rodrigo if he wanted to go flying, and we went off to the airport....

I thought my charts expired August 05 so I ran to get new ones, catching the airport store at the last minute. Then once I had them I realized they expired August 20, and the ones I bought were identical to the ones I had. Oh well. :)

I planned for 1/2 tanks this time, and we decided to go to Byron for some takeoffs and landings, and refuel there for the trip back. On the way there, Rodrigo took the controls and did some maneuvers to get a feel for the plane. He said the rudder felt "heavy", which of course mirrors my own sentiments on the matter. :) We did some pattern work, landed, got fuel, then did some more pattern work and returned. On the way back, I tried using Rodrigo's copy of Foreflight on his iPad to see how it felt; it was pretty nice.

One thing Rodrigo mentioned is that I tend to cut power around 50' up, dive for the runway, then arrest the descent. He was like, why don't you keep in power until the point where you start flaring, so you don't have this massive sink that you then have to arrest? I tried that and my landings became very, very smooth! Wow! Of course they were not short landings, but that's not the intention when you come in with power and a standard stabilized approach. I'm calling this my new "no artificial emergency" method of landing, where I do not create an emergency then attempt to recover from it.

I noticed that I am now much better at "automatically" calling out my untowered airport maneuvers. I am not so much thinking "wait am I on crosswind? left or right? ..." -- I just rattle out the right thing to say and it comes out correct without too much thought. "Byron Traffic Skycatcher 162HG left crosswind runway 23 Byron". Then I'm like, really was that correct? Yes! Wow, go figure!

All in all, I did 6 landings, and Rodrigo flew some of the cruise and maneuvers and our approaches into Byron and Palo Alto.

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