Flight School Days 11 and 12

Yesterday I practiced more crosswind landings, but first we had to fly over to Moontown to make way for someone who seemed to want the whole airport to themselves.  The trees blocked most of the crosswind so the landings were pretty easy, but there was a bit of turbulence on takeoff at about tree level from the wind blowing past the trees.  Then we flew back to Madison County Airport and did more landings there.  There was nothing to block the wind so the crosswind was pretty stiff.  Most of the landings could definitely have been improved upon.

Today the air was pretty calm and we did a few takeoffs and landings before he asked if I wanted to solo.  I took him back to the FBO and he took a golf cart over to the start of the runway.  The first takeoff was great and I got to pattern altitude quicker than usual, probably due to the missing weight.  The landing also worked out great.  The second landing I did I came in too fast and too high, so I went further down the runway than usual and I landed on my main wheels before stalling which took me by surprise so I didn’t compensate and turn it into a wheel landing.  The airplane bounced a few feet back into the air and this time I held the airplane off the ground until it stalled and I did a three point landing (meaning all three wheels touched at about the same time) as I intended.  The third landing turned out great as well–then he asked if I wanted to do another because he originally told me to do three.

I did another, but this time on takeoff I felt like I was getting pushed to the left right before takeoff, so I banked into the wind and lifted the left wheel off the ground first before taking off.  He got on the radio and said I probably should have been banking the other way because the prevailing winds were coming out of the left, so I’m not sure if it was my imagination or if I really did hit a phantom pocket of air pushing to the left… anyway… it didn’t really affect the takeoff.  That landing turned out pretty good too.  When we got back to the FBO, he cut out the back of my T-shirt and we wrote on it my solo date and airplane and posted it on the wall.

Now, I can rent the plane whenever I want as long as the winds are fairly calm and I stay within 25 miles of the airport.

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