June 24, 2004

Mastering Landings While Exploring New Airports

Tonight's flight was my best flight in weeks. I mentioned to my CFI that I have not been happy with my landings as of late. I know that pilots go through funks but I was frustrated by it. So we started off with two landings at Blue Ash (KISZ) with the wind running straight down the runway. I think tonight I was just more focused as I had thought about landings for the last two days but it paid off as the landings were great.

So we departed Blue Ash towards Butler County Regional Airport (KHAO) to the west. There we had almost a direct crosswind with winds at about 10 knots. That challenged me a little more but again my landings were on. I would say that the crosswind landings take more concentration but are more gratifying. You dip the wing towards the wind so you can land the wind side wheel first, then bring down the far side wheel followed by the nose gear, preventing the wind from lifting the wind side wing. We executed two landings there then headed farther west.

The next stop was Cincinnati West (KI67) near Harrison, OH. This airport was small. How small you ask? It was so small it did not have a taxiway. Seriously, on an airport this size, you back taxi on the runway. I almost flew past the airport before I saw it. We were landing on runway 19, which is great for practicing short-field landings. There are trees that you need to clear before you quickly descend the last hundred feet to ensure there is time to stop or to perform a touch and go. We did two touch and gos that felt great. I think I prefer the short narrow runways. My instructor explained it is common to have your best landings in those situations because you have to concentrate harder.

On the way back to Blue Ash I put on the hood to do more instrument training. I have less than an hour of instrument training left to meet those requirements. As we reached Blue Ash, my CFI said I could perform a full stop landing or a touch and go. Having such a great night there was no way I was ready to stop so we did a nice touch and go. I knew that I was going to pay for pushing it though. Sure enough on the final landing she pushed my flaps up and told me my flaps failed so I had to execute a landing without use of my flaps. The descent through the pattern was good but I was a little fast on my approach but I was able to bleed the speed on my flare and finished the night with a nice full-stop landing.

I enjoyed seeing two new airports. I have always been one who enjoys new experiences and I find each new airport to be a great experience. As you can imagine, I cannot wait to fly on Saturday when I plan to knock out the rest of my required instrument training.

Posted by at June 24, 2004 10:53 PM

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