Lesson 43, stalls and circuits

Beautiful day here today, no wind and lots of sun, with a frost!

Had my first lesson with Terry Salmon, so lots of new tips and comments ( Dave is currently busy in his olive grove ! )

Anyway, we first agreed on a few rules and things we were going to do today ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Leave the circuit and do a few turns then a few stalls.
  • Re-joining the circuit.
  • And a few touch and go’s, flying around the circuit !

I am not a big “stall the plane” fan, but I know its good and should be doing this every month I think. We flew towards Mt Thomas where we do training work, where Terry showed me two stalls and afterwards I did two. When I did it, KNZ sort of stalled a bit but definitely didn’t do a dramatic dive, all gentle. That means it (KNZ) is showing that you are stalling but still a lot of control so that’s good…..

After that we went back, went through the rejoining procedure, and flew a few circuits.

Got a few hints about my flare (just before touch-down) I need to keep on doing what I do:

  • Most importantly get the approach right: correct height, correct speed (50)
  • After flaring, keep flying horizontal, pulling more and more stick until it stalls and lands.
  • But the new things is; when touching the ground, push stick forward a bit, to keep the landing gear on the ground. Not to much, just a little !

And for the take off I also had a few things I should do better. All the normal things:

  • Apply power, in 3 seconds.
  • Stick full forward; to get forward vision, more rudder control, better airflow over the wings.
  • Use rudder for directional control.
  • But the (not so new) important thing to look for is air speed, before pulling the stick. Make sure the speed is 50, so I can fly!!!!! If thats not high enough, you try to take off but the plane is still stalling, and could side slip ways or stall one wing etc etc creating all sort of very dangerous situations.

Anyway Terry was quite happy with most things, just those few points to pay attention to ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh yes, when in the circuit, make absolutely sure, you join at 1500ft AGL, and when in down wind fly at 1000ft AGL, because thats where other “planes” expect you to be !!!!!

Oh and yes keep the slip indicator ball in the center all the time.

Phhhh quite a few things. Lots to think about when flying, but yes happy pilot, still learning.

Practice practice practice

Thanks Terry !!


Tips from Paul

Saw Paul today, the owner of KNZ.

Basically I am doing all the right things, flaring just before the landing. Its finding the right moment to start pulling the stick gently, and slowly pull more and more, while staying at the same height, maybe half a meter (1 – 2 ft) above the runway until the speed drops below the stall speed: you land.

But sometimes, you pull a bit to much, or you touch the ground and still have to much speed, and as a result you balloon: going up again. But because your speed is so slow now, you are about to stall, and fall down onto the runway, from a bit to high.

So what to do is when you balloon, is to apply a little bit more power, enough to not to fall to fast but to gently fall, and land ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Next time I will talk with Dave and practice this…..

Lesson 42, Circuits

Today a little bit of a South West wind, nice and constant.

Off we went, did lots of circuits, one full high one at 1000ft AGL and all other ones at low level, 500ft. As the final is going past some pine trees there was a bit of turbulence, enough to disrupt my final flare. Not to dramatic, but a whole lot harder in KNZ compared to JOR, my first plane.

I am thinking that I need to get some tips from someone else, maybe Paul, the owner of KNZ, the plane I am flying now ๐Ÿ™‚

But yes looking forward to the next flight !!!!

Lesson 41, back after 3 month break

After 3 months and 1 week, back flying again.

Been super busy working on the engine, had my parents here on holiday, build a plane trailer, boughtย a section on the West Coast, and been to the Yealands Classic Fighters air show in Omaka over Easter with my Bleriot.

Yes was a good day to start flying again. Sunny and no wind ย !

Last night I was feeling confident about flying after this 3 month break, and yes it went all very well. Basically did one normal circuit and all the others low level (500ft AGL) circuits. Most landings were good. some really good, and one or two bounced a bit. Really happy how it all went !! ย ๐Ÿ™‚
Looking forward to next one, hopefully next Saturday….

Lesson 40, …..circuits

Early morning start again 😊 Thanks Dave !!!!!

No isobars today, but still a North Easterly picking up. Enough wind with varying speeds, from an angle, like 10 o’clock while landing that you need make adjustments all the time. Trying to fly at 50knots at the final stage of the landing is not that easy but if you’re going too fast, there’s a big chance of ballooning. Want to get rid of that speed just before rounding out.

Had a few really nice landings but a few that needed improvement…

Afterwards we stopped to talk to a few of my plane people including Paul, the owner of KNZ. He made a photo of me 😊 :

Dave said, just need a few nice calm days, before you go solo in KNZ !!!

Lesson 39, circuits

Busy day for Dave today. I was second one for a lesson, so didn’t have to take it out of the hangar ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect weather, no sun and no wind ๐Ÿ™‚

And yes things went a lot better again. I am taking off OK now, and my landings are getting better. Definitively feel I am making improvements every time!

I should try to install the camera in the plane next time to show you !

Lesson 38, and more circuits

Sunday today, got txt from Dave “Hi Gert. Lite NW at RT. Reckon it will be OK. Ready to fly at 0830? ย D

When I left home, felt a North West wind gust, but the closer I got to Rangiora (RT) the calmer the weather.

Refueled KNZ, and started my lesson.

First circuit was at full circuit height (1000ft AGL) but that was to bumpy, so the remainder, we did at low level (500ft AGL). No more bumps 😊

Take offs are going a lot better now, and yes had some good landings as well

But yes the timing of the roundout is very important.

Did some glide approaches, a bit of side slipping to lose extra height….

Yes all in all a good lesson !

Lesson 37, circuits 😊

Another nice morning, 2 weeks since my last lesson, and we did just lots of circuits, with some variations like glide approach, side slipping, some stop/starts, low level circuits……

But the big thing, and I have mentioned it before is speed control. Make sure the speed goes down enough when landing, and be prepared to control the rudder, lots of bursts left and right while landing especially. When taking off, push stick forward as soon as I make speed to raise the nose…….

I really think I need to prepare myself mentally with all these tips before every lesson, while it’s not an automatic behaviour yet.


Lesson 36, Lots of landings and side slipping

Yes it was going to be a perfect day for flying. Arrived at the airport (NZRT) at 0700 to get the plane ready.

Dave briefed me about his plans for today:

  • Instead of Touch and Go’s I am going to do Stop Start’s. This is when landing, so you come to a complete stop. The aim is to get more really low speed experience, as this is were directional control is hardest.
  • Do more side slipping, a powerful tool to drop altitude while on final (=landing)

Had a really good lesson !!  ๐Ÿ™‚

As always, initial landings are a bit hairy, wasn’t that bad, but I noticed that I was making big improvements. The biggest thing to control is airspeed. Making sure that it drops down to 55kn during finals and 50kn just before roundout, dropping below 50 down to 47kn or so when rounding out. At the same time if there is some wind from the side, using rudder to keep going straight, before “dropping out of the sky” and landing.

Taking off and raising the tail soon after making some speed is good for getting more visibility and keeping the Kitfox on the ground before pulling the stick at the right speed to take off again ๐Ÿ™‚

The side slips are going well, although I always stop that a bit earlier then required to give me time to prepare for the landing. While side slipping it’s not just maintaining the right direction and keeping an eye on my altitude but also slowly dropping the air speed to around 50kn with the same stick I use for directional control, that’s if the rudder is fully right.

Still feels a but strange as I am hanging into the door, well feels like that !

But yes I am happy, and Dave thinks I am making good progress. Been flying the Kitfox 9.7hrs now. A little bit more and I think he is going to make me do a solo flight, well in a few weeks, maybe a month or do ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Lesson 35, Landings landings and more landings

Early up again for 0800 take-off at NZRT.

We (Dave and I) were talking a bit about last weeks lesson and the ballooningย (jumping up after touch down) I was doing. Dave decided that the landing speed of 50kn was possibly to high. So after take-off, we left the circuit tracking North West to a safe altitude and did some stalls, trying to check the stall speed. That turns out to be about 40kn.

So after we joined the circuit at standard height of 1500ft from the traffic side, we started doing circuits at low level (500ft) to get a lot of them.

Today was a demanding day with a brisk Nor Easterly wind about 20 deg from the left landing on RWY07.

Air speed (or energy stored in the plane) is very important in preparation to a good landing:

So during finals I fly at about 55kn, slowing this down to about 50kn when reaching the threshold (start of the runway). Then when about to flare, I am trying to get to like 47 or something and fly horizontal, just above the ground, raising the nose more and more, until we stall / land.

During takeoff, as soon as the power goes on, stick goes forward to raise the nose, so I can see in front of me, and the main landing gear gets pushed down and when getting to 50, pull the stick and take off.

Definitely a bit trickier with some side wind and a bit gusty, but I am really impressed with myself, how things were going. A lot better again then last week