Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Wing running certificate (woo-hoo)

4/29/03 - Read up on the wing runner's job on the Soaring Safety Foundation's web site. Took the CAP test and got 90%. I read a bunch of safety notes. One that sticks in my mind is the need to fasten the safety harness tightly... some accidents have occurred when the pilot got thrown around and hit his head. I keep re-reading the takeoff and landing procedures because they should be introduced in the next couple of flights.

I was talking with J at work... he brought up aborted takeoffs. In his Cessna's they need to be up to at least 1100' to do a 180!

Monday, April 28, 2003


4/28/03 - Received the SSA membership packet. I also learned recently that my dad was much more interested in soaring than I ever knew. I'll have to take him up someday.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Wing running

4/27/03 - Arrived about 8:40. Met A and observed the end of preflight. Washed some of the plane. Learned a bit about BFR - Biannual Flight Review. I didn't see A do a positive control check nor test the airspeed indicator... wondered whether to bring this up but didn't. Two flights with P, didn't fly takeoff but did fly tow. I held height very well but yawed a bit, not too bad. Learned about watching the horizon on turns instead of watching the instruments. In straight-and-level flight, seemed to yaw due to oversteering. P recommends flying with a very light touch: two fingers and thumb. Flew the pattern (got to the Initial Point but missed the island) but not the landing - just called out speed. Observed airspeed dropped quite a bit just before landing - wind gradient? I'm having a little trouble interpreting the altimeter quickly. Learned not to focus on the airspeed indicator - it lags.

I observed the tow prep procedure carefully and did the wing running a couple of times for T and P... hard to remember the whole sequence. The second time, they released early and landed on the runway because they discovered belts sticking out of the canopy and flapping.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

First instructional day

4/19/03 - Arrived about 9:20. Observed preflight checkout with JC - most but not all aspects. Assisted with pushing out for several flights by J and another member. Learned about "pattern flights" (releases at 700' AGL) so now I understand the purpose of the "early bird" program. Learned about takeoff and landing areas - the map provided by SE was a bit confusing.

First lesson as a Flight Group member, with instructor X (very good!). I had not yet seen the syllabus nor the log book, so I did not know anything about the teaching structure. Started to learn ABCCCD checklist. I took control shortly after takeoff and flew most of the tow, pretty well I think. Never got above release altitude. Stayed very parallel, got a bit high once or twice. Tried nosing over, pulling back, yawing, uncoordinated turns. Learned parts of a good turn: bank, coordinate rudder, neutralize stick and rudder, back pressure to "lift" around the turn. some 90 degree and 360 degree turns. Good 360's, but forgot to use compass. Learned that altimeters stick! Struggled a little with yaw string. Learned about IP, used flaps - very stiff! CFI completed the landing. 22 minutes, logged as Flight 2?

Got club papers and log book from C. Got lock combination from L. Left about 1:30.