Lesson 96
27 November 1998
0.5 hour

Sixth Aerobatics Lesson

This was after after a two week layoff because I had a cold last week.

I didn't seem too terribly rusty--although it did take a little while for me to get back into it.  I had been practicing slow rolls and four-point rolls in my head yesterday--mainly trying to get my stick hand to do the work more smoothly and--especially--to pull up slightly and quickly before starting to roll right.  The idea there is to get the nose up a little so that it's already up when you get to knige-edge, and the rudder doesn't have to yaw the nose up, but can just keep it there.  Greenwood hadn't told me to do that, but I noticed that it's what he does when entering the slow roll.  When I tried it today, it worked nicely, and most of my rolls came out fairly well.

Actually, I had practiced this as part of simulating the four-point roll, and I also practiced adding forward pressure when doing the second part.  Greenwood surprised me today, however,  by having me go right to the inverted four-point roll, so of course the four parts I had practiced were out of sequence.  All the same, most of those rolls worked out okay, too.

He had me do several loops and then a loop and slow roll combination.

Somewhere between loops he did a hammerhead himself--probably as much for the fun of it as to demonstrate it to me--and I could feel on the controls what he was doing:  equal and fairly heavy left rudder and right aireron to get the nose around to the left, while preventing the right wing from developing lift as it comes around faster than the left wing.  He says if you're half an inch off on the stick you get in trouble.  Half an inch too far forward and you're in a flat spin.  Half an inch too far back and you're in an inverted flat spin.  That'll be interesting.

Then it was time for a Cuban eight.  I followed him through on one:  five-eights of a loop, establish a 45-degree downline and roll upright; pull up into another five-eighths looop, roll upright again, and pull out.

That's when I started getting strong messages from my innards and had to give up for the day.  I don't seem to get sick when I'm doing the maneuver, but when he is and I'm just following him, that's when it gets to me.  It's strange:  the motions are the same--and much smoother when he's doing it--but there's sometning about being the one producing the movements.  Anyway, I ended up feeling crappy physically, but pretty good mentally.  I was a little dizzy on the ground--which usually means I'll feel crappy for a couple of days, until those semicircular canals calm down.  Should've stopped one maneuver sooner.

(I ought to write a "semicircular" parody of "Erie Canal"--what a terrible storm we had that night on the Er-i-e Cana-a-al, on the Er-i-e Canal.   The in-ner-ear cana-a-als?  Well, maybe not.)

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