Lesson Nine
17 November
1.? hours

Today was cold and the sky was absolutely cloudless, and when we got up in the air we could see a nice pale blue haze where the horizon should have been.  Altimeter 30.04.  The wind was 270 at 7 (but felt stronger because it was cold, and later we found that it was fairly strong aloft), so we used runway 33 and put up with the 60 degree crosswind.

Takeoff went pretty well.  I remembered to check and say "Instruments are in the green, airspeed is alive.  Rotated at 50, got up smoothly, and climbed out at 70 knots.  Unfortunately, that was the best part of the flight, as I was off on most everything else--or so it seemed to me.  Adam said to do some power off stalls.  This was supposed to be review, but on the very first one the nose dropped off hard to the left, and I lost more than a hundred feet trying to recover.  I let the nose pitch down much too fast--and managed to do that three time in a row, without ever doing the maneuver smoothly.  I was annoyed because that last time I did power off stalls, they turned out pretty well.

Then it was time for forced landing practice.  After I had pulled on the carb heat and throttled back to 1500 rpm, setting up for another stall, Adam pulled the throttle to idle and announced that the engine had quit.  (This was a simulation, of course.) We had discussed this during the "review safety procedures" part of the before take off check, so I remembered to establish a 60 knot glide and pick out a place to land FIRST, before trying to re-start the engine, use the radio, or anything else.  Adam said the mnemonic is "aviate, navigate, communicate."

Next it was turns around a point on the ground.  That went better than the first time--although that isn't surprising because there was a little less wind today.  Adam made a distinction between turns around a point and turns about a point.  I think he said that around was when you try to fly so your ground track is a circle, while compensating for the wind.  About, I think he said, is when you fly a circle so that the point on the ground is always right down the centerline of the inboard wing.  I'll have to find out more about that.

Then he had me do some Sterns along Hull Street again.  I was able to do thimble, sort of okay.

My main problem with the ground-reference maneuvers is that I haven't got a good enough grip yet on the compass the directional gyro.  I understand all of this in theory; but in practice I need to get the compass into my intuition somehow.

Back in the pattern, the landing went well, okay.  Gnaw, that's not really so.  I could tell that Adam kept off the controls because we came down somewhat hard after I flared too soon.

The plan for next time is to stay in the pattern and do landings.  And Adam began talking about solos for the first time after the flight, so I guess I'm making some progress, despite my frustration over not being able to get everything right all the time.

(Is that expecting too much? Sure.  But it's a reasonable wish!)
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