In studying for today's lesson, I looked through the pre-solo test. Wow! I couldn't answer most of the questions! And I thought I was nearly ready to go by myself.
The day was beautiful--bright and clear, and with a light wind almost right down the runway.
Adam made me review emergency procedures, and then we took off. Climbed to 2,500 feet and flew west to the practice area beyond Swift Creek Reservoir. We could see the mountains.
Did steep turns, and after a while I managed to do some without changing altitude much. Oddly, I'd gain some turning right and lose some turning left.
Then it was stalls--one power off and about 6 or 8 power on. For the first time I could really feel what was going on. The "buffeting" that everyone keeps talking about is much lighter than I'd expected--but now I know what to expect. I screwed up several of the stalls, but by Adam's count did three of them well, holding the heading and without losing any altitude..
Two other planes were in the pattern ahead of us, so we had to extend downwind a long way, and the final was almost like a straight-in approach. I was low at first, but saw red over red in the glide slope lights (the first time I really USED them) and added power. Naturally, I added too much power and soon found myself too high. Reduced power and then came in too steep, leveled off but flared too soon, and Adam had to tell me to add power so we wouldn't bounce.
After we came down and were going over the flight, I figured out why I had screwed up some of the stalls. I had held them longer than Adam had expected, thinking that I was supposed to be doing really dramatic stalls which they evidently seemed to Adam, but not to me. The ones he thought went well were those in which I thought I had recovered too early. I think the thing is, the stalls are intended to simulate what might happen on take off or a go-around and what you want then is NOT to stall. Student pilots aren't supposed to spin, and you don't have to demonstrate spin recovery in the FAA practical test. Ira Sheib had me do several spins and really hard stalls, so I guess I was just a little too eager this time around. Interesting little revelation.
Landing practice tomorrow.
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