Saturday, June 28, 2003

Boxing the wake

6/28/03 - Finally some sun, up to the 80's by 9:30.

Two 3000' flights with P. Takeoffs: takes a LOT of control input to correct. Easy to want to straighten out using ailerons, when it should be rudder. First tow, he demo'd boxing the wake. Second time, I did it. Really very smooth! Smooth and easy, although the tug looks VERY high when you're down below!

Practiced some more turns, up to 45 degrees - still need some work, as I tend to flatten the bank by the end of the turn. Slow flight straight ahead, down to 38 kt. - just fun to FLY for a little break. Turns are still somewhat uncoordinated. I asked about the difference between skids and slips, and P had a good mnemonic: "Slip in and skid out".

Stalls: I again nosed over instead of stalling the first time. But my recovery next time around was really good - I think *very* little loss of altitude.

Approaches OK - need to square off the base leg, not round into the final. Practicing judging the pattern by angles instad of landmarks. Pretty straight, well-aimed final.

Some new info on speed/glide on final: to gain speed, push stick and spoilers BOTH forward. At least on the Blanik, you can't treat speed and glide independently. I remembered to pull the stick back - the second time. I think the set-downs were very smooth. P thinks I'm doing very well - he said I could have brought it down by myself.

14 flights now, about 5 hours.

Saturday, June 21, 2003


6/21/03 - Deeper gloom. Two flights up to the ceiling with T, about 1500'. A few turns for practice, then pattern & landing. Pretty good landings, T said I did "93-94%" and he just had to pull the stick back when I forgot.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Turns and stalls

6/7/03 - June Gloom. Overcast skies for a while, and a haze that never really lifted. No wind at first. Thermals never broke through the inversion layer. That's OK for me to practice turns, stalls etc.

Flew two 24-minute lessons with T - he's great to fly with! I did the second takeoff. I kept the wings fairly level, but used the rudder backwards, so T corrected. Tow was pretty good. Turns - MUCH better! Since last lessons, I've read up on initiating vs. establishing the turn, centering the rudder during the turn. Very smooth turns, although I do let the speed drop down to 40 kt sometimes. I did some steeper banked turns than before.

We did a couple of straight stalls, in which I nosed down too much instead of neutralizing the stick. T demonstrated turning stalls. He also demonstrated a very steeply banked, high-speed imminent stall, making the point that a glider can stall at any speed or any attitude.

I flew my first landings - T said I flew about 85% of them, and he corrected the attitude just a bit. I think I flew it on the ground pretty well, keeping wings level and remembering to pull the brake. The final few seconds are when I am fuzzy, trying to learn how much airbrake and when to sense the ground effect and flare.

I'm up to 10 flights, 4 hours logged. Still a bit tense, but I had fun!