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Saturday, 30 August 2014

Back in the Air

After a three month "break" due to a shoulder injury, I finally got to crawl back into the cockpit again. That's a long time, soo flying took a bit of getting used to, all over again!

So the first flight was called "refamiliarisation"- getting to know the plane, and it's characteristics again. Some steering, climbing, descending, stalls, some circuits...

The basis was still there; no problem. But it's all about the details, right? Especially at the end of the hour, during circuit training, I had already used up so much energy that the "sharpness" was way out the door already. At one time, it even leaded to a "bouncer"; a landing with too much speed, and a forced decend rate by pointing the nose down too much. You are supposed to simply fly too slow to maintain altitude, but if you force the plane down by lowering the nose, speed will increase, creating more lift. That's what happened with that one landing. Upon trying to pitch up again, to land on the main gear, the main gear touched the runway, bouncing back up. That, combined with the extra lift because of the too high speed, caused the plane to bounce back up in the air. Problem is, that the bouncing force of the main gear acts to the rear of the centre of gravity. This makes the plane pitch down again, and the risk is a (relatively) high speed landing on the nose gear. Nose gears aren't made for that ;)
Fortunately, my reaction was correct: go-around. Right at the moment my instructor reached to advance the throttle, I did that myself. A true go-around this time, and not one that is because of an imaginary elephant on the runway.

Subsequent landings went OK, but there is still some room for improvement ;)

So the second lesson was all about circuit training. We took our time for the briefing, plus we had to fuel up somewhat, and the plane was booked adjacent to my slot, so in the end I only got about 40 minutes of air time. Nevertheless, I made 5 landings, of which the last one was completely unassisted, and butter soft. There was quite a lot of wind, but that was directed pretty much in the runway direction. So this time, the crosswind correction was especially on the travere legs of the circuit, "crosswind leg", and "base leg". That all went far better than ever before, so that made up for the mess I made of those previous landings. After three months out of the running, I am back on track in less than 2 hours. Now let's try to keep the momentum.

Circuits are now better shaped, and far more consistent :)

Turning final rwy 23

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