Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simulated Engine Failure

December 21, 2011
Pain Field
Cessna 152
1.3 hours, 4 landings

Today, I was flying a different 152, there are 3 that the flight school has. But each are slightly different, some are more upgraded. This one hadn’t been flown in almost a week. Yikes. It had been freezing out the last few days, but I just shrugged it off and finished my preflight. After I was done we jumped in the plane and what do you know, the plane wouldn’t start. So my instructor and I sat there while we waited for maintenance to come jumpstart our plane. I was very curious about the process, it just seemed scary, and as I watched, it sure as hell was. I really can’t explain it, but when jumpstarting a plane you’re very close to the propeller. Too close for my comfort zone anyways. Once the plane was started I got the ATIS, called up ground, and taxied to the runway. Today, was finally the day I got to call up tower. They intimidated me more than ground did. Even though I knew they were located in the same place. I did it like a pro though; it’s always so much easier after you do it. Usually, it’s the process of trying to figure out what to say and how to say it that’s so intimidating. And then you don’t want to forget anything because they’ll have to ask you for it and you’ll be clogging up the airwaves.

“Paine tower, Cessna blah blah blah blah, at Golf 1, ready for an east departure.”

The main thing to remember about talking to tower is that you have to repeat almost word for word what they say back to you. For example, if they ask you to hold short of runway 16, you can’t simply say “holding short”, you have to say “holding short of runway one six”. My only worry was that I wouldn’t be able to say back everything, or that I’d forget something. It was simple though, and soon I was cleared for takeoff, and was back in that beautiful sky. We worked on slow flight again, which still frustrated me. We did some stalls, and then a simulated engine failure.

I had to be walked through the procedures, but I did fairly well. First thing is first, always fly the airplane. You will need to achieve your planes best glide speed, and then trim to relieve control pressure, make sure to watch your airspeed (A). After I had done that (minus the trim part because I always forget the trim) I scanned the area for a suitable field to land on, remembering I must land into the wind, I selected a field and began to circle it (B). Once my field was selected I grabbed the checklist and followed it (C). Just as my instructor had said, we followed the ABC. Airspeed, best landing spot, checklist.

That little Cessna is a gliding machine, I don’t know how many times we circled that field but we were there for a while. My only oops, was choosing a field where the rows would be against the way I was landing, not with. I hadn’t even noticed until we were much lower. I’ll need to be more observant next time. After that we headed back to do some touch and goes as usual. My landings don’t seem to be improving at all. It’s probably my biggest obstacle at this point. Even though, I know landings are something a pilot is always trying to improve on I just don’t feel as though I’m getting anywhere.

Total cost invested thus far: $1931

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