Last week, I had problems with the new landing gear. As Terry is away for 2 weeks I checked out with Dave, and yes agreed for a lesson tonight.
Today the wind came from all directions, and a bit to strong for my liking, but the wind dropped a lot tonight, so was meeting up with Dave at 19:00.
When I got to the airfield, there was still quite a bit of a South West, so we decided to use runway 22 (just a remainder, 22 means a heading of 220 deg which is halfway between South and South West). As it is a clear evening and the sun is getting low, we want to avoid landing straight into the sun, so runway 25 is out of the question.
I did 2 circuits on rw22, a very short one so needed all my speed control skills I can think of. Then the wind started to shift completely around as we were hoping for to the East, so I made the radio call:
Rangiora Traffic, Kilo November Zulu, Air-born on Right-hand 22, Repositioning to Left-hand 07, Rangiora.
As we were alone in the circuit, I turned straight into finals for 07 from taking off on 22, something you don’t do when there is other traffic. You always go through Downwind first !!
Any way, today’s practice was going to be a 3 phase take-off, to practice my directional control. Dave explained when he arrived, earlier. Basically use the whole runway to:
- Get some speed, quickly, but then reduce throttle a bit to move forward but with the tail on the ground. Using all the rudder I need to move in a straight line for about 5 seconds
- Then more throttle and stick fully forward and reduce throttle a bit to make sure I stay on the ground, but this time with the tail up. And again, use all rudder to keep straight, again for 5 seconds.
- All that time, the end of the runway is getting closer faster and faster. So finally at full power and raise the nose slightly so we start flying !! 🙂
This exercise makes you experience what its like to control direction for a while, with tail on the ground and off the ground.
One thing I learned, and both Dave and Terry have told me over and over, but now I experienced it properly:
You DON’T press the pedals for to long, but dance on them! 1/3 of a second one side, 1/2 a second on the other side, backwards and forward, all the time, as long as you are on the ground and moving.
DON’T stop until you have stopped moving.
One of my issues last time was probably that my feed used to touch the brakes, but that used to be OK as they weren’t to strong. The new brakes are a lot better so have to be careful not to touch them until almost stopped.
Also with the rudder, if you notice that you are veering to one side, you are already to late with your reaction. DANCE the pedals all the time ! And if you are going to one side don’t think of holding that pedal there to long, only 1/2 a second max, then back to neutral and again 1/2 a second to that side again. KEEP dancing !!!
So yes did lots of circuits, all low level to get more done in the 1.3 hrs I flew. Also 2 landings were I purposely turned into finals way to high, so lots of side slip to lose height.
And yes my air speed in “Downwind” : no need to go faster then 60.
In “Base” needs to start dropping to 55.
And turning into “Finals” start dropping it to 50. The lower the air speed the better the landing.
Nothing here is new, just reminding me of all these little things that make the landing so much easier…..
MORE practice next weekend !