Saturday, September 30, 2006

I got it.

The weather was spectacular. The seasons have changed here and morning temps have been cool in the low 50's. The visibility was a little less today, but still better then 10 miles.

Objectives: Landings

I got out to the airport a little early, in time to preflight before my instructor arrived. Many of the staff and instructors were on a "Fly Away" down to Florida, followed by a Caribbean cruise. So it was quiet when I went into the office to get the dispatch kit. By the time my instructor came back the plane was ready to go. Information Xray, and again we decided to save some time by staying in the pattern.

During the taxi down to the run up area for 27, my instructor asked if we should start with 3 pointers and ease into the Wheel Landings. No, I had been thinking about this all week and was "chompin' at the bit" to try Wheel Landings again. Takeoff was normal, and performance was great in the cool air. No traffic for distractions, I concentrated on speed and rate of descent. My gaze transistioned from the cockpit down to the far end of the runway and I waited. Patience. Squeak, and I gently but deliberately pushed the nose to the take off attitude. Beautiful. It was at least a 9 on the pretty landing scale.

But was it a fluke? Back around again, speed dead on, nice rate of descent and bingo...two in a row. This time I got a small jounce, but corrected it nicely for extra pretty points (9.5). One more time around and I know I have learned how do this. (I realized I no longer had a 'death grip' on the stick, but used the gentle touch of three fingers with my thumb to finesse it onto the deck.)

The next one we were asked to fly a close pattern for traffic. Too fast and too high led to the expected result, a go around. I felt good and decided to see if I remembered how to do the 3 pointer. Slower speed (below 70) and put the stick in my gut when the mains touched. (maybe an 8). I'm ready for the check out ride next week, and told the instructor the next one would be a full stop.

Another full stall with just a bit of jounce (6.5) but I taxied off on Bravo 4! It usually takes two more exits before I'm slow enough to get off the runway. (Change that to a 7)

Obviously a Great day!

Time = 0.7


  1. Brought a smile to my face, Dave.
    I think crosswind landings in a taildragger are the only thing in the fixed-wing realm that comes close to the difficulty of flying a helicopter.
    Lookin' forward to reading about your checkride results!

  2. Hi Dave,

    I just noticed you left me a comment on my 1st post! I apologize for not noticing it until now. I'll be sure to add you to my blogroll this weekend.

    Crosswind in a tail dragger. yeeeeehaw. : ) I beleive you and I can swap some good tail dragger tales over the next few months! I'll stay tuned....

  3. ....and, where and how do you get these awesome diagrams that show your flight path!?

  4. Neil, I'm glad you like them. Posting the tracks helps me to remember the flight better, even when it is a relatively simple flight like just T&Gs. I have a Garmin GPSmap 96c that I carry along with me. Once home, MapSource (came with the device) allows me to download the track to my computer. Once the track is saved, you can either go directly to Google Earth, or take an extra step and use to colorize it for altitude, then go to GE. Another blogger who has helped with tracks can be found at:

  5. Thanks Dave...

    Started my tail dragger time yesterday, and flying again today. Thats some good clean fun! : )

    I'll be posting about it tonite or tomorrow...