Lesson 5

Today started like a brilliant day when I woke up, no wind, blue skies, frost on the lawn. But I knew there were going to be nor-westers today. They are not nice here, very gusty.
Anyway, this morning I had a class first on human factors and the weather at 10 in the clubhouse, and that was all good and very interesting. But while the class was going I was keeping my eye open for the weather. I noticed the wind coming from the East and shifting all the time so was a bit nervous.
At lunch time I had my peanut butter sandwich outside watching the various planes take off and land, using a lot of aileron adjustments to keep level……..

And then not long after lunch Dave told me to hop in the plane. As he had just flown the plane with another student we didn’t check the plane, just the fuel tanks.
3.5 gallon on one side 4.5 gallon on the other side = 8 gallon, = about 24 litre. Engine uses about 18 per hour, so enough for our 1 hr lesson.

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If you click on the button above you see what we did  🙂
Same story for take off, me on pedals for rudder and hand on the stick. Dave gave me the command to pull the stick, so I started pulling harder and harder. Next time I need to do that a bit “swifter” as it took a bit to long before the nose came of the ground. But when it did, we were off, into the air.
A lot of corrections with aileron to keep level, stick adjustments keeping the airspeed at 60 m/h, making a left turn when at 500ft AGL towards our “play area”.
So yes take off was a little bumpy and I thought Oooooh hhhhhhhw, but all calmed down a lot as soon as we got a bit higher.
Did a lot of turning left and right, descending and ascending. Occasionally getting into turbulent air so climbing a bit more or further away from those hills.
Feels like turning into the wind is harder. A lot more adjusting with the aileron tho keep the plane banking, or sometimes applying opposite aileron to stop it from going any further, but still banking the right way.
Also with the inconsistent wind speed “outside”, adjusting engine power frequently to stay at about 60 m/h and at the right altitude.
And finally going back to the airport, closing throttle, gliding down at 60 m/h, not to fast, not to slow.
Didn’t want to go back as it was going well, and didn’t like the turbulent weather close to the surface, but wasn’t bad this time. Dave took over for getting “into the circuit” and for landing, because it was not calm enough for me to do that yet.So all happy with today, had plenty of turbulence to get used to and control and adjust the plane, and not to much to feel uncomfortable etc etc. so yes HAPPY !!!

Lesson 4

The day started with lots of cloud, with a big storm coming, so my instructor told me to come early.

Did more on the take-off today:
Basically after all pre flight checks are done and lined up on the runway, I applied full power, kept straight with rudder, and pulled stick to lift up nose a bit when Dave gave me the command.Then within a second, we had lift-off.
Watching the speed and trying to keep it at 60mph.
When reaching 500ft AGL (Above Ground Level) starting a 90deg right turn and continue to climb.
And at the same time trying to fly straight with rudder and level wings with ailerons.
Lots happening during take-off!!!!

One thing I would like to show in image below, or in the link, just here:

sat18jul2015-map

There you can see us making continues turns and being pushed away by the wind 🙂

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Apart from more keeping at straight flight, this time with some wind from the West which adds another dimension it was all good.

But then it got a bit “scary”.  We started practising Recovery from Unusual Attitudes.
Basically Dave pushes or pulls the stick and left or right at the same time. I then need to raise or lower the nose, to recover from that “unusual attitude”, and immediately afterwards, level the wings.
Feels a bit like ooooh or whhhhh. But I can see this is an important thing to get used to, as the air is never perfectly calm!!!!!

And then it got a bit worse….
Dave started to show what a stall feels like and how he recovers from it.
When in level flight, engine throttle is closed, engine slows down to minimum, and stick is pulled more and more to keep the plane level. While this is happening, the plane slows down, more and more, until is “falls” out of the sky 🙁
What happens next if I remember well is apply power, lower nose, gain speed, and when speed at is 60 mph, level flight.
In the second stall, one wing dropped before the other one. This is worse, as you fall sideways. Here you apply full rudder to swing the stalled wing back into the wind, and do all things listed above.
After a third one, it got a bit to much for me so we went back to the airstrip……..

Below is the plane ZK-JOR that I am doing the lessons in. It is a Rans S6, an American single-engined, tractor configuration, two-seat, high-wing monoplane designed by Randy Schlitter and manufactured by Rans Inc.

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Lesson 3

Had another great lesson today. I will first show you what I did below. You can also open the file here, just below and zoom in:

sat11jul2015-map

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After taking of from Rangiora airport, we fly NNW to our test fly area, where I start with two full 360 deg turns, clock wise and anti clock wise.
Then fly back and a turn back North.
Then I start a series of descends and climbs, with turns at the same time.
And finally after 1hr 15min back home 🙂

Just a few comments. Below is the elevation profile, but because I didn’t calibrate the barometer build into my phone it starts at -215m……

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Great to see what we did here, well I think it is, you probably think its boring !  🙂

So yes today it started with a long warming up, as we had a nice 5 deg frost.
During the first 2 lessons, I was only controlling the rudder and Dave (my instructor) did everything else. But today I almost did everything during takeoff, with a few adjustments and directions from Dave. So all good.
Later I did a whole lot of descends and climbs with turns. All of these I had to try to keep my speed constant at 60 m/hr. Sounds easier than what it es, but I managed and will get better soon  🙂
And finally the landing. Also here I did most myself but with a bit more help from Dave.
So yes very successful day.

I have done most I need to do now, so in the coming lessons, its all about improving my skills….
All these different “sensations” you feel, going up during takeoff, descending going down just before landing, etc etc.
Plus all the things you need to check inside the cockpit.
And on top of that you need to continuously scan the outside world, for the other planes…..

So lots to do. Needs all your attention.

All going very well. One happy pilot to be 🙂

Lesson 2

Wow second lesson already, have been looking forward to this  !!

It was a nice frosty calm winters day again today. I started the plane inspection before Dave (my instructor) came. When he got here, he just followed me to keep an eye on me. Separately he re-checked the engine.
All was good and we went back to the club house for some more theory. He was telling me about wing profile’s….. Looking at modern ones and the one that Louis Bleriot used. All interesting  🙂

Then at 11:15 it was time for my flight. We went through the check list etc etc and took off.

Today more of what I was doing last week, controlling the controls, to fly straight, and going through turns.
Have been thinking about this all week and yes it felt a bit easier I think.

Other things we did was about using the flaps. These are normally only used for landing I think. So we went up to 2500 ft, slowed down the engine quite a bit, pushed the elevator forward and started “gliding” down. Then we started pulling out the flaps. With more flap, the plane was going slower, so to keep flying fast enough, the elevator had to be pushed forward more.
Also some climbing and descending !!  🙂

I should make a few photo’s to “brighten up” this page  !!   Do that next time.

Also I have this “Fly is Fun” Android app on my phone now. Like it so far and it also logs trips, so next flight I will log the flight and show the result.