Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tora, Tora, Tora

Back in the Tiger! The log book says that last flight in a Tiger was back in June 2005.

Objective of this flight: get checked out in the American General AA5B.

I reviewed the POH to get familiar with the speeds and systems. (No prolonged descents at 1850 to 2250 RPM. Start the engine on the left mag, etc.). I got to the airport a little early so that I could take my time getting reacquainted. I bought a brand new laminated checklist and walked out the airplane. She is not a showgirl, looks like some hail damage, numbers are faded and walk areas on the wings need work, but she still looks good to me. The engine compartment is the cleanest I've ever seen, and the interior is nice new leather. A new stack (including a Garmin 430) is expected to be installed this week.

I'm excited to be back in the Grumman again, and nervous (although I shouldn't be) to have an instructor looking over my shoulder for the check out ride. I don't want to disappoint him. The plan is to stay in the pattern, do some T&Gs, and if we still have some daylight, go north and do some high work.

Startup, taxi and runup are all normal. (WOW, as I'm taxiing out a Piaggio Avante lands. Just Gorgeous! OK, when I win the lottery...) RYY is busy. There must be 3 or 4 planes doing the ILS, as well as traffic in the pattern. While I still enjoy just sitting in an airplane, the CFI is ready to go. Change in plans, lets depart here and go over to Cartersville.

Take off is normal, however the nose attitude is much lower then the C172. I can actually see where I'm going. Airspeed is in MPH with the inner ring in Knots. Climb at about 105 mph. Its a beautiful spring evening out there, and the visibility from this airplane is spectacular.

Two other airplanes in the pattern, with another entering on the 45 about 5 miles out. I make the calls and take interval, ask the CFI to show me one so I can get the picture again. Round out is a little lower as is the nose attitude on the flare. My turn.

I call crosswind and hear chatter about the pattern being so busy. It makes me laugh (4 airplanes is NOT busy.) First landing goes well (I'm in love again.) The next has to be extended very deep due to traffic, but also goes well. Downwind on the next he pulls the engine. Best glide is 83 mph, I look over my shoulder and extend the pattern a bit. This airplane likes to fly. Base is still high, full flaps before turning final and a full slip brings her down nicely. Straighten out and he tells me to execute a go around. No problem. Let's go home.

Normal entry back home (well, actually by this time I'm more familiar with the ILS) and no traffic. Cleared to land. Here I break one of my rules, no chatter once on base leg. I guess the relief and excitement got to me. I missed a tower call, and he caught it. Lesson relearned. Landing was not great, but acceptable.

Overall a very good flight. I'm going to love flying this airplane.

Time = 1.6

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