Lesson 25
26 January
1.5 hours

    Today's flight went a good bit better than the last one--except that I  managed to screw up two power-off stalls in a row by getting in too much right rudder, causing the plane to break hard to the right.  (Normally, people are likely to use too little right rudder, and the P-force causes yaw to the left.)  Adam's idea was that we were in N4725B, which hardly needs any rudder at all in any maneuver (true--but why?), but I was used to flying two other planes that need lots of rudder work.   I'll take his word for it.  Also, I had my seat farther forward than usual, and didn't feel very comfortable with my knees drawn up so far.

    While taxiing to 15, I told Adam that I'd like to fly along the runway just off the ground sometime, to get a better feeling for the relationship of plane and ground.  He said, "All right, then, let's do a soft field takeoff today."

    So after runup and the before-takeoff checks, we began the soft field takeoff, simulating it on the hard surfaced runway.  Once you start rolling, you don't stop for anything, so you won't sink in.  You set the flaps at ten degrees , taxi onto the runway, and just keep going.  Rotate at 54 knots (Vx in the Cessna 152) and get the wheels off the ground, then immediately pitch forward a bit so that you're flying along in ground effect, with the wing less than half a wingspan off the ground, until you get up enough speed to fly for real.  It's fun--just sort of pops up and floats.  You have to be sure you don't pop up too high.

    It was fun, but there was new stuff to take in, so I didn't really have much time to feel out the relationship of plane to ground.

    Climbed to 2500 feet and flew west to the practice area.  Did steep turns, the two bad power-off stalls and another that was almost okay, and some fairly good power-off stalls.  Tried an emergency landing, in which I picked out a large field, but didn't notice that it had two power lines running at right angles across the middle of it.  If the engine had quit for real, I'd have had to land under the wires--which I recognize is possible.  But...

    Back at the airport, I managed to get all the radio work right, including the "on the 45 for upwind for 15" part.  I've always had trouble getting out the "upwind" and "crosswind," but today it went okay.  Turned final a bit late and was a little high, but got lined up quickly and dropped down onto the glide path just by pulling the throttle back--no need to slip.  The landing went nicely--got down without a bump, and Adam even said "Nice landing" as though he meant it.

    I must say, after the previous flight fiasco, I was relieved to have gotten most things right today.

    What I need to work on most is keeping altitude constant in turns.  I've been yo-yo-ing up and down 100 feet, or so lately, even in standard rate turns.

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