The weather was lovely today. So I got to fly this morning at 7:30. The last time I flew was last Saturday, so I was quite off my game.
I was correct with my prediction from yesterday evening that Brandon was watching my every move to see how close I am for my solo. Because it’s been 6 days since I’ve flown, unfortunately that time has been knocked back. I felt a bit overwhelmed today with things I found very easy last week, however, on a good note, all my landings apart from the last one were super smooth, so I’ve got the hang of that. For the first while when you start flying an airplane, kind of like when you start driving a car, it’s difficult to have that spacial awareness. For example, when we drive for the first time, it’s hard to know how close the other wing mirror is to parked cars on the side of the road. It’s the same with flying. It’s difficult to feel for where the wheels are so I felt they were quite close to the seat but now I am starting to have a feel for the distance between my seat and the wheels, so my pitch and angle were quite good.
On my last landing, there was a MASSIVE thud and Brandon said specifically, “Right last one make it perfect!” on the upwind…On final…there’s a sports aircraft on the runway taxiing! And it’s Rachel who’s instructing on it! So because Brandon and Rachel are flatmates and have been childhood friends, they start a wee natter, and I’m descending, adding flaps, coming in for finals, kind of like, urrr, are we landing, go around, say our prayers and call it a day?!!! or what?!
Turns out Rachel was going to get off in time and I should have definitely committed to landing. But I was so overwhelmed and confused and things were going so fast, I pitched up too much, put the power to idle and when you do that, you just cringe and wait for the thud! It wasn’t TOO bad – but yeah it’s not nice! Especially to end the day like that as well.
Anyway back to the actual flight. I went through all the manoeuvres, whilst doing the radio calls too. So did slow flight, power off/on stalls, steep turns. Then we did emergencies. But we actually landing at another tiny little runway, called Excelsior Springs. So at a couple of thousand feet and Brandon cuts the power. I go through the procedure and I say okay I’m going to start circling looking for a place to land – I’m going to turn right and Brandon says, actually you probably want to turn left. So I look left and see there’s a runway below me! So I thought AH! Okay yes we’ll land there! So going through all the checklists as if we have actually had an engine failure. Circling and timing it so we can be in the downwind at 1000ft above the runway. Unfortunately, when turned for finals, I was too low so I would have crashed into the trees before the runway .So Brandon took over and did a go around and I landed there anyway. It’s a tiny runway – not like what I’m used to – 5500ft with lights and a proper taxi way etc. This thing was an old bumpy tarmac with pretty much a taxi way made out of a mixture of grass and tarmac! We couldn’t do a touch and go because the runway was too short so we did a full stop and taxied back to the beginning of the runway for a short field take off. So my first proper emergency landing at a completely different runway I’d never done before, after not flying for 6 days. Brandon was clearly pushing my boundaries Good in a sense, but today, I felt a bit disappointed with my performance. Can’t be perfect every day! And as a result, I’ve studied hard today and am ready to push myself more, so that’s good in a sense! So I experienced short field take-off for the first time today – basically where you put the brakes on and apply full power then let go of the brakes so you have full power applied straight away! Also, with a stage of flaps, there is more lift available too. :
After that, we flew back to the airfield and did a few touch and goes and I’ve already shared what happened at the end!
Crazily enough, my Dad was flying with Rachel in the afternoon and Brandon was flying with one of the Mongolians . So Brandon is on finals about 5miles out on runway 36 and my Dad is lining up to take off on runway 18! (So basically they’re facing each other!) Same thing happens! – Brandon goes – Hey Rachel! Rachel replies, Hey! to which Brandon says, “Love ya!” to which Rachel replies, “mmhmm”…as if they’re going to play a game of Chicken or something!!!! My Dad doesn’t have a clue it’s Brandon at this point! Brandon says, “Hey Gucci!” My Dad is like WHAAAAT! Man it’s funnier when he tells the story. So my Dad and Rachel take off and Brandon banks off to the right for runway 18 so my Dad just followed behind him I think. I think it’s scary for us as new students because we don’t’ have hundreds of hours of experience and confidence – every new thing is just so exciting and a bit mad, I must say! Good story to remember though!
Anyway! – After my flight I came back to the school and started to work on the website. Didn’t really get anywhere today with implementing a calendar system with password encryption. So kinda gutted about that.
I came home and had a quick nap and had some lunch then studied for the rest of the afternoon.
My Dad and I went to Wallmart in the evening after work and stocked up on everything. We came home, cooked dhaal&chol together, ate and now it’s time for bed.
I cancelled my 6am flight in the morning because I’m exhausted and I feel I just need to work on my theory a bit more and then really get stuck in the flying next week. Brandon was actually relieved to have a cancellation because he’s pretty tired too!
Excuse spelling and grammar errors – I normally read through my post (after writing it in TextEdit) and correct it – I am too tired to reread it! Maybe in the morning I’ll look over it again and correct it.