Lesson 117
25 July 1999
.9 hours
Tailwheel Lesson 2

Nope, no groundloops today, either.  I did manage to bounce one landing, but otherwise nothing untoward happened.

Carmine had me turn right at 600 feet after takeoff on 23 and to the west practice area, while climbing to 2500 feet.  The Citabria isn't exactly a skyrocket, certainly not compred to Greenwood's Pitts S-2A, so it seemed to take us a long time to get up that half mile.  Then it was do some dutch rolls.  (I'd heard the term before and had done them on my own, including the first time in Greenwood's Pitts, but didn't know exactly what Carmine meant by it.  In turn he seemed surprised that I didn't already know.)  It's a good exercise to get the rudder and ailerons coordinated--lots of rudder in that Citabria.  A few steep turns and some power-on and power-off stalls were next.  I was surprised to find that the power-off stall, especially, is very gentle.  You can keep the stick all the way back and hold it in the stall for just about as long as you like.  It just sort of mushes along very docilly.

Then it was time to head back to the airport for some landings.  We were at 3000 feet at that time, and although I found the airport easily, I was slightly confused about which of the three runways was which (one is closed) and how to approach.  Carmine suggested a teardrop approach.  That was another term I wasn't exactly sure about, so he explained what he had in mind--cross midfield at least 500 feet above pattern altitude, descend to pattern altitude (1000 feet here) while turning right to enter on the 45 for downwind.  Of course I've been doing that all along, but just not by that name--not really by any name.

So this is another teaching thing--differentteacher thing, really.  Carmine's teaching method is very different from either Adam's or Greenwood's--though I think closer to Greenwood's in that he tends to demonstrate rather than explain.  --No, he does explain, but he does it differently than Greenwood and seems to approach instruction more intuitively than Adam does.  (Or did; I'm not sure how he works with students by now.)  And Carmine's vocabulary is different.  Hm... I guess he tends to name a maneuver rather than describe it.  He's a lot more hands-on than Adam, more like Greenwood in that respect.  He's stocky and somewhat short--another contrast with Adam, who's close to 6 feet and slender.  Carmine often uses his foot to adjust the elevator trim in the Citabria, evidently because he can't reach it easily with his hand.  (It's right beside the front seat.)

In the pattern I did a three-point landing--passable, although I flared a little high and we bumped down, though without bouncing.  Took off and turned crosswind at 600 feet and base at about 900.  He immediately pulled the throttle and wanted to know where I was going to land.  Runwas 32 was just ahead, so I set up for that.  But we were high, so I slipped it, but not really hard enough, and we probably would have hit some construction stuff that was lying across the runway about 1000 feet or so down it.  The truth is--and Carmine noticed it right away--I got a little confused about the slip and didn't begin it nearly soon enough.  Then I didn't know how fast the airplane would sink, and didn't slip as much as I should have.  We went around and got back into the pattern for 23.  That time another airplane was ahead of us on downwind, so I slowed to about 60 mph to give us some room.  It went long on downwind, so we went even longer, and that caused me to be a bit high on final, so I slipped it good and hard that time and made a passable landing.  That led to a three-point takeoff, but at about 20 or 30 feet he pulled throttle again.  I got the nose down, but didn't keep it down long enough, so we ran out of energy a couple of feet off the ground and bounced but finally did get down all right--not beautifully, but all in one piece and with nothing bent.

This is a Citabria similar to the one I've been flying (except for the erratic prop--makes me nervous).
I found this image at http://avanimation.avsupport.com/26.htm

Back to "Learning Flying"
My home page.