It was a long day at work on Thursday. At around 4pm I got a text from Adam to see if I’d managed to get a late afternoon lesson in a few days earlier. Unfortunately it was a no. On querying though, there was a plane and Wilson available from 5:30pm that arvo. That was all I needed to hear! As soon as my 4:30pm meeting finished I was into the car and down to Jandakot.
The objective was to get get more solo time, but of course I had to be able to prove to Wilson that I could head back up alone. His approach is to sit there, say nothing for the first circuit or two and just observe. So thats what we did. He was pretty happy with how it went with one exception. He wanted me to wash off much more speed before touching down. Basically he wanted the plane stalling before the wheels touch the deck. So his approach to nailing the flare was to make me come down to flare height and using throttle, keep the plane flying level along the full length of the runway, tracking centre line and no wheel contact. Apart from being a stack of fun, it was a great exercise in getting the feeling of the flare.
The next circuit had me pull perfectly into the flare, hold the plane just above the runway and sink down just as the stall warning sounded. I think the word for it is greased it! Anyway, we did a flapless and then a glide approach. On the glide I still had 200 feet approaching the runway, so Wilson challenged with literally with a steep nose down dive and then to pull up into another smooth landing. With that, he said pull up and you can go up by yourself. Sweet 🙂 So far we’d racked up 0.7 hours dual, so it wasn’t going to be a cheap lesson!
I returned and did six more solo circuits before stopping. That gave me another 0.8 hours solo time, taking it to a huge 1.1 hours 🙂 Doing solo circuits is awesome! With every additional landing, I felt they would improve, the stall warning sounding every time just as the wheels made contact. This time I was flying the VH-AOH and it handles considerably better than VH-IGX. It climbs faster and handles better all round. I know why it always seems to be booked out first.
Anyway, the only real challenge this arvo was the sun getting ready to set. It put it right into your eyes and made coming in towards the runway that little bit more difficult. That didn’t matter, I would have stayed up forever if I could, but I was under strict instructions to be back at a given time. It left me craving more solo time and my booking for Sunday couldn’t come quick enough. But thats another story, I’ll get to that soon… The video is a bit ridiculous, but thought it was fun to make it 🙂