Today's lesson was fun, and I learned some things. One thing I learned is to ask my questions before starting the engine or after shutting it down--because the aircraft costs more per minute than Adam does.
Another thing I learned is that Adam has big feet--or something like that. I was doing power on stalls and found at one point that I was giving it left rudder to keep the nose from falling off to the right and the harder I pushed, the harder the left pedal pushed back at me. Turned out that Adam had his foot on the right rudder pedal--said he wasn't aware of it, which may be so. Anyway, he is now, because I asked him about it. Seemed a little odd--but, then, he seemed to be tired today. He was late with his previous student, so we got started half an hour late--1:30--and he said he hadn't had lunch yet. The previous student was an attractive-looking woman. Tch.
Anyway, last time he asked me what we were going to cover that day (had he forgotten, or was that a test?) so today I showed up ready to suggest power on stalls and slips. And whaddaya know? That's exactly what he had in mind, without asking me.
We did several slips from about 2500 feet. During one of them he pointed to the vertical speed indicator, which had wrapped its needle around to -2000 feet per minute and didn't seem able to wrap any further. (I'll try to remember to look next time and see if there's a stop there.) Impressive! Airspeed was 70 at that moment, and we were mostly just falling, instead of flying. I used to enjoy slipping in to the runway in the ol' Aeronca, dropping a hundred feet or so, and then straightening out over the end of the runway. The slip itself is a scary feeling, with one wing forward and down and you feel as if you'd fall out through the corner of the windscreen, so it feels grand when you straighten out and the thing starts flying again. Well, after a while we went back to the field, staying high in the pattern to try a forward slip on landing. Unfortunately, I didn't get the slip coordinated right and was coming in high. We probably would have been okay, but I decided to go around, rather than land farther down the runway. Felt stupid--but that was better than sweating out an ugly landing, and anyway Adam said go around was next in the syllabus, so I was just getting ahead a little. Right.
He was late for his next student, so the next landing was normal--no slip--and turned out, um, fairly well. I started to flare a bit high, but he prompted me and we came down smoothly. Not much wind today, so it was easier than the last couple of flights.
A Lear Jet arrived as we were on downwind for 15. His straight in approach was low and flat and fast. We landed next and were turning off at the first taxiway and held on the line as the Lear taxied up from the far end of the 5500 foot runway and headed for the ramp. There were about 50 people lined up along the fence outside the terminal, waiting for--whoever it was. (They probably didn't notice my flabby landing--but I felt a little foolish, anyhow.) Inside, Erin said it was an Amway corporate jet. The pilot came in after a while to pay for fuel. Looked like an Amway guy--or my vision of one--a little like Jim Baker, too--but it was probably just a bias in my worldview.
Adam's next student didn't show up, so he was happy--said he'd be able to have lunch after all today--and dinner, too.
Next time: Rain is forecast, if it rains we'll do some ground work instead of flying, Adam says. That probably means I'd better hit the books hard before then.
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