Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Ground Lesson

January 5, 2012
Pain Field
Ground lesson
.6 hours

I woke up around 7am, feeling like death and congested like no other. Worried I’d have to cancel my flight I got up and jumped in the shower before going downstairs to make myself something to eat. By this time I felt much better and noticed my congestion would come and go. I waited a little longer before calling my instructor to see what he thought. He said we could give it a try.

As I sat in my car, I could feel the wind shaking it. Definitely not a good sign. I got out and walked toward the flight school, as I did so the wind was blowing my hair all over the place. I had a sinking feeling it was going to be too windy to go up. My assumption was correct. My CFI was already waiting for me, and told me there was wind shear so we wouldn’t be going up. We had a few things to go over though. So at least my drive there wasn’t a waste. He talked about spin recovery. Not that we had to do them, but that I’d need to know the procedures to get out of one. So here we go again with the acronyms: PARE.

Power – idle
Ailerons- neutral
Rudder- Full opposite
Elevator- forward to break stall

I thought it was really odd that you’d need to push forward on the yoke, wouldn’t you want to pull back so you could get out of it? But no, you wanted to push forward so you could again get lift, break the stall and then pull up.

Then he briefly talked about forward slips. You know, if you’re too high when you’re coming into landing. Or if there’s crosswinds. You want to turn into the wind and then apply opposite rudder.

Power- Idle
Rudder (usually full)
Nose down- not up ( you don’t want your air speed to increase)
Flaps 20- not full

15 minutes in and my instructor is already putting me to sleep. So many different procedures for all these different maneuvers. Would I honestly be able to remember all of them? How many more did I have to learn?

“So what do you think a runway incursion is?” he asked. As with almost every other thing I have no idea. So I throw a guess out there. “When two planes run into each other on the runway….?” He shook his head and said, “that would maybe be a runway collision”. A runway incursion is basically when a plane is on the runway when they aren’t supposed to be. I laughed at myself. Apparently, my CFI had thought the same thing when he was asked way back whenever it was he learned all this. So that didn’t make me feel so retarded. Which is rare because usually at these lessons I always feel dumb. I never know anything, even if I try and read up ahead of time. So whenever my instructor asks me anything, I normally guess, and about 95% of the time is a wrong guess.

Next he discussed wind shear. He said he usually keeps his knots up when coming into landing. Let’s say the winds at 5, with gusts at 20. You’d take the distance between the 2, which would be 15 and cut it in half to add to your approach speed. Which would be about 7, so you would add that. If the winds are strong you also don’t want to have your flaps full. And finally, there was a quick discussion of microburst.

Before I headed out I asked him if ground school (which I’ll be starting in 4 days) was going to be as boring as this. He said the guy teaching it was a cool guy, and usually students didn’t come out complaining about him. Plus they had videos and PowerPoint’s. Not just a whiteboard and a marker. I still am not looking forward to my ground school, not mixed with everything else I have going on. But I am looking forward to becoming more knowledgeable.

On a side note, my solo was brought up finally, and how after this that’s what we’ll be working on- getting me to solo. I’m excited and terrified! My goal is to solo by my 20th birthday which is in March. That gives me about 2 months and a couple weeks. I hope I can do it.

Total cost invested thus far: $2475

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