Lesson 27
2 February
1.6 hours

We did a lot of power-on stalls today, and I managed to get most of them right.  And in general I got just about everything just about right today.

"Just about," of course, means that I didn't do everything quite right, but was pretty right most of the time.  In an emergency landing, for example, I did okay, and really would have been able to get it down in someone's rather long backyard if Adam hadn't said to go around at the last minute.  But I spent a lot of time looking for that backyard--the area was mostly wooded--and didn't go through the try-to-restart-the-enging routine fast enough to suit Adam.  Part of my problem was that I have trouble talking about one thing while I'm doing something else.

In the post-flight analysis, Adam suggested that I move my hand to the various checkpoints while I'm getting the pitch right and turning toward a field.  If he sees me do it, he said, he'll know that I'm going through the checklist even though I'm not saying anything about it.  Good advice, I think.  I'll have to be able to say it and do all the other things eventually, but that'll come later.

Adam did a good thing during some of the stalls.  I was having trouble keeping the nose from falling off to one side of the other--that problem of getting the feel of the rudder again--and to keep my attention outside, instead of on the instruments. Adam began telling me where he would be looking at various times.  Look outside.  Look at the airspeed. Look outside. Look at the altimeter.  Look outside.  Look at the airspeed. Look outside.  I found that VERY helpful.  It slowed me down and helped keep my attention focused, instead of zipping my attention from one thing to another more or less aimlessly.  And by looking out during the immanent and stalling phases, I was able to keep the nose straight (most of the time)..

Another thing that helped was wearing different shoes.  How simple!  Instead of the comfortable but somewhat heavy walking shoes I've been wearing for about a month, I decided to try a pair of lightweight thin-soled shoes.  In them I felt a lot more in touch with the airplane.

Back at the airport, I managed to get into the pattern without trouble--remembering to check AWOS for wind and altimeter BEFORE calling in my intentions this time.  The landing went reasonably well even though I got a bit high on final., and the wind had suddenly reversed direction to the other side from AWOS's report.  The touchdown was nice and smooth.

Next time:  more emergencies, more landings, more ground reference maneuvers, and more power-on stalls.

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