Flight School Days 6 and 7

Both days I flew from Madison County Executive Airport to Moontown (the grass strip airport).  Apparently a grass strip is more forgiving to land on and that is why we practice so many landings over there.  He is pretty much completely letting me land the airplane.  At first there were some crazy landings including one sideways bouncy landing on the left side of the runway that resulted in a go-around.

I’m still learning how to slip.  It’s a little hard for me to get myself to do opposite rudder and ailerons and get into the somewhat crazy attitude, but I feel like I’m getting better at it.  It’s preferable if you’re turning to keep the airplane rolling in the direction of the turn and then apply opposite rudder.  At first I would somehow end up rolling opposite of the turn and then guessing again until I figured it out… by then it would be about time to do a go around and try again.  Now I feel more comfortable with it but tend not to quite fly the straight line while doing it that I intend.

Takeoffs yesterday were pretty hairy with the airplane going all over the place.  Then he told me to be a lot more aggressive with the rudder and more immediate with the aggressive pressure.  That has seemed to work great so far and since then all my takeoffs have been very good.  I am even taking off at the right airspeed without going too fast like I was before.

Today he turned off the throttle and told me the engine died and I had to make it back to the runway.  The first step is to get the airplane to 68mph which is the optimal glide speed.  I was pretty gentle about pulling up to raise the nose and decrease airspeed because that is how I usually slow down to land, but I needed to pull up more immediately because any time not spent at 68mph is wasted distance.  I turned the airplane towards the runway sooner than usual and needed a huge slip to drop enough altitude to get down, but we landed safely on the runway.  Because he cut my engine while I was checking for icing in the carburetor by applying heat, I forgot to turn the carburetor heat off before takeoff and he had to remind me before I taxied onto the runway.

Todays landings were much better and I only did one go around because I was too high.  I also tend to pull back on the stick without noticing when I feel like we are short of the runway.  This decreases the airspeed below the optimal airspeed and causes us to glide even less distance than we want.  I need to keep the nose down and airspeed at around 70mph regardless and increase throttle when we are short.  I performed almost all the landings myself and he seemed to think they were all pretty good.  There were still a couple bounces today but much lower than before and I did a better job of keeping the airplane in line with the runway on landing.

While we were flying around a huge biplane (apparently the largest single-engine biplane ever built) flew from Madison County Executive Airport to Moontown.  It was definitely a slow-mover.

All total I did 15 landings and takeoffs the last couple days.  Aaron said I will probably be solo pretty soon.

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