May 20, 2004

Unusual Attitudes and Ground Reference Manuevers

The title is not referencing my attitude but that of the C-152 I am learning to fly. As you may have read, I have moved my flight training to Blue Ash Airport, a small uncontrolled field. Today's lesson was my first in almost a week. It felt great to get back in the plane. We took off and flew out near Paramount King's Island, the very theme park where Mike Brady lost his theme park expansion plans - good times. Just east of King's Island is the training area for Blue Ash students.

Here my instructor told me about unusual attitudes and how sometimes pilots look up to realize the plane is in an unusual attitude. For instance it might be nose high, turning left and losing speed. I guess this can happen when the pilot comes disoriented from looking at a map in their lap too long or from weather. If you were gaining speed, the proper way to recover from unusual attitude is to reduct power and level the wings. If you were losing airspeed, you should add power, push the nose down and level the wings.

After mastering those moves we worked on to ground reference maneuvers. In ground reference maneuvers we brought the aircraft down to about 1,000 feet off the ground. Then we looked for a nice straight road. I then started doing "S" turns back and forth over the road with the top the "S" beginning on the road and then having the plane cross the road again, wings straight and level at the middle of the S before turning the other direction to intercept the road one last time. I learned how to gauge the wind and vary my degree of bank in order to execute an S turn while staying on target along my course.

After the "S" turns we picked a tree in the middle of a field and I practiced circling the tree at a steady distance. This also required bank and speed adjustments in order to stay equidistant from the tree at all times.

Today's lesson was one that I really enjoyed. I felt I really got the chance to fly on my own with little assistance from my CFI and I am feeling much more comfortable flying the plane. We finished the day with four touch-and-gos and a full stop landing. All of the landings I performed on my own. I was satisfied with my progress landing especially since this runway is shorter and more narrow than the one I was accustomed to at Lunken.

I fly next on Saturday morning.

Posted by at May 20, 2004 9:23 PM

Hi Todd - I just caught up on your flight lessons. I can't believe how much you have learned to do in such a short time. Congratulations on your progress - I'm looking forward to meeting you and Cyn at the Morristown airport someday soon.

Posted by: Jennifer at May 21, 2004 11:27 AM | Reply

This sounds like a lot of fun. Congrats on having the guts to do it. I can't wait to hear more about your adventures!

Posted by: Eric Altier at May 22, 2004 9:18 AM | Reply

I am so proud of you, now you have to fly down to oxford and pick me up and take me somewhere....congrats!!!

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