May 13, 2004

Buzzin' the Barnyard

Tonight, I once again received help from Mother Nature when some light thunderstorms cleared the area about 30 minutes before my lesson. Prior to the lesson, I reviewed what I would be learning during tonight's flight. As usual, we reviewed previous learnings, new items on the list were steep turns at 45°, power-on stalls and emergency landing procedures.

The steep turns were difficult to master at first but I think I showed significant improvement toward the end of the lesson. As the turn starts to increase towards 45° the plane wants to pitch nose down and requires a fair amount of back pressure on the yoke in order to maintain the altitude. To earn a private pilot's license, the student needs to be able to do a 360° turn at a 45° bank without varying in altitude by more than +/- 100 feet, airspeed +/- 10 knots, bank +/- 5° and then roll out of the turn within 10° of the starting heading. This most be successfully done in both directions. I need a little more practice to meet those requirements, but feel great about my progress.

The most interesting part of tonight's lesson was the emergency landing procedures. My instructor demonstrated, then I executed a simulated emergency landing procedure. We were cruising at about 80 knots when my instructor advised the engine had been lost and turned the engine down to idle. I followed procedure by pitching the airplane in a manner that would bring the airspeed down to 60 knots the most efficient glide speed for the C-152. Next, I identified a safe emergency landing space. I chose a large flat farm field. I used the barn at the corner of the field as my reference point to be used when I would turn onto final approach.

I was surprised at how well the plane performed at an altitude of 3,000 feet with the engine cut. I manuevered around to make my turn to final approach towards the farm, flying into the wind to maximize my lift. At this point I was about 800 feet off the ground. As I completed my turn to final approach and down to just over 500 feet above the soil, I realized could have landed in that field if needed. However, to obey FAA regulations, I pushed in the throttle and started to gain altitude to ensure I never came within 500 feet of the ground near the sparsely populated farm land.

I think seeing how well the plane performed without the engine gave me a lot of confidence in the plane.

I return to the skies tomorrow night. We will be changing things up and instead of spending most of the lesson in the Lunken practice area we will be flying to Blue Ash Airport which is north of Lunken.

Posted by at May 13, 2004 9:45 PM
Comments

Man, this sounds simply amazing. Your detailed write-ups are awesome!! I really enjoy reading them.

Of course, it's not making me want to get a pilot's license, but it is making me really want to do the http://www.aircombatusa.com/ thing.

Posted by: Aaron at May 14, 2004 2:17 AM | Reply

At what point in the process do you solo?

Posted by: Jimmy at May 14, 2004 10:46 AM | Reply

Aaron - Aircombatusa.com is cooool! What do you mean you don't want to get a license. I will tell you what it is easier than you would think. Just five hours into my 40 hours of required time and I already feel like I have learned so much. I am sure by 40 everything will feel so comfortable.

Jimmy - I will ask my instructor tonight at what point she thinks I will start doing solo flights. From what I have read I think it is usually after 12 - 15 hours of training. So I think it is about a month away for me at about 3 hours a week.

Posted by: Todd at May 14, 2004 11:25 AM | Reply

Is buzzin' the barnyard like rockin' the suburbs? 8) I hope your flight went smoothly tonight - and hope the t-storms didn't keep you grounded.

Posted by: CJ at May 14, 2004 4:19 PM | Reply

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