Landings infinity

Another great weather day. I could get used to this. The wind was mostly calm, visibility was well over 10 miles, and barely a cloud in the sky. The sun was getting ready to set as well, which made for more amazing sunsets from 1200 feet.

Today was nothing but real pattern work. Other than two planes toward the beginning of the lesson, it was just us flying around the airport, landing, touch and go, again and again.

The first two were on runway 3, but due to slightly higher winds from the northeast, we stopped and taxied to 21 for the remaining six landings.

I did so so on all of them, but was struggling with the crosswind on the last several. Gene demonstrated one (the third one on 21) so I could see what it is he was trying to describe. It was helpful, but touchdown wasn’t any better than mine. To his credit, he was moving the plane around a lot to show me what it would do, so he didn’t stabilize it until the last moment.

Every base and final approach was different as I tried to see the effects of wind and different base distances and altitudes. I was almost always a little high, but a forward slip takes care of that nicely. I also had a tendency to unconsciously bank left when pulling back during the flare. This made the effects of the crosswind even worse, since I really needed to be banking slightly right. I tried a different grip on the wheel to see if that would help, but I was still left of the center line a little. With a 100′ wide runway, it’s easy to get lazy about being in the center. Not good.

The worse landing was perhaps the one where I rounded out too early and got slow too high and we fell from several feet more than we should have. It wasn’t that hard, but it was certainly not desireable. I need more practice; plain and simple.

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “If you can walk away from it, it was a good flight. If you can use the plane again, it was a great flight.” Since neither the plane nor I sustained any damage, I guess it was a great flight.

A total of eight landings in 1.1 hours brings me to 15.5 hours total.