Unusual attitudes

Today we covered a lot of new ground.  Working in the practice area west of Blair, we started out with emergency procedures and engine failure.  We had some good discussions about the flow of trying an engine restart and picking out a good field when there’s no flat spot within range.  I felt like I was well prepared.

After a few of simulated engine-out emergency landings (down to about 500′ AGL) we moved on to flight by reference to instruments.  John had me under the hood with my head down while he did some maneuvers, which got me closer to motion sickness than I’ve been in a long time.  I did some turns and level flight by instrument reference only…  and I have to admit, it was much more difficult than I expected it to be. Then we did a couple of unusual attitude recoveries, which pushed me closer to rendering the airplane incapable of ever being flown again (you DO NOT want to be anywhere near if I ever actually do puke, it’s a seismic event).  I’m going to have to be more prepared for the vertigo and motion sickness next time.

We ended up further north than we planned, and got a call from Omaha tower asking where we planned to go since we were getting close to the nuke plant…  not a good idea.  We headed back and did the x-wind landing, which was certainly not perfect but I’m getting closer to finding the groove.

We had fun taxiing both departing and arriving.  On the departure Ground cleared us to taxi via L2 and L, then cleared a Bonanza that had just landed to taxi to the FBO via…  L2.  I believe it was the second time I have been nose to nose with the same Bonanza, thankfully neither time were my fault.  Anyway, we both recognized what was going on, he held up, we made our turn and all was well.  On the return we were taxiing toward our tiedown spot, and realized that the Centurion parked up ahead — wasn’t parked, he had just stopped there for some reason.  He moved, I did a nice tight 270 turn to pull into a spot my CFI didn’t think I could make.

So my primary CFI is going to be gone again for 15 days, and I’ll be flying with another instructor.  I have every intention of being able to grease a crosswind  landing consistently by the time John returns, as well as having the PP knowledge test out of the way and the pre-solo written done.  My only complaint about John is that I feel like he gets on the controls a little too early and too often when he thinks I’m about to fluff a landing.  OK, I understand his desire to be able to fly the plane again…  but.  Today I began my transition later than usual, and I think I nailed that part pretty well.  In hindsight, yes, I stopped my xwind correction a little too early and we drifted left — but the flippin’ runway is 150′ wide!  And, yes, we did start to balloon a LITTLE bit.  Nowhere near as badly as we have before, and I saw it coming and lowered the nose…  but by then John was on the yoke and rudder pedals and had half a bushel of throttle in.  I honestly feel if I’d been left on my own we would have touched down more smoothly.  It wasn’t pretty, but I had it.

All in all, it was a lot of work today, a TON of learning, and a good end to the week.