Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Something Different today

Had a flying lesson booked today, so off to Redhill.  Weather bright, some high level clouds and not too cold, little bit of wind from the South West.  Arrived at Redhill expecting to be doing Circuits again today.  Not this time, Instructor wanted me to do stalling and recovery from unusual attitudes.

Stalling is where the Aircraft basically ceases to fly usually due to insufficient air speed.

So, take off on Runway 18 which is the southerly runway – first time for me on this runway, climb to 1400ft until clear of Gatwick Airspace and then climb to 3000ft heading towards Bewl Reservoir in Kent.  Nice to have the time to fly straight and level again after the busy conditions of the circuit.  Instructor got me to practice a bit of slow flying en route and overall I was happy I was maintaining course, altitude and speed.  So on to stalling.

At 3000ft near Bewl, Instructor did the first stall to show me how it was done, then over to me.  Fly the aircraft straight and level, reduce the power and hold the nose up to maintain altitude so the speed decreases.  Eventually the speed reduces too much (about 40kts), the stall warning comes on and the aircraft starts to drop.  Recovery, is dip the nose and open the throttle.  Then on to a stall with flaps extended (much the same except stall speed is even lower so the aircraft is actually quite difficult to stall).  Then on to stalling during a turn (both left and right turns) and recovering to stable flight.

Unusual attitudes is where the Instructor puts the Aircraft into a strange position.  Example is a steep turn with nose high and low airspeed.  Recovery is straighten using rudder, stabilise airspeed and return to altitude and heading.  We went through a number of recoveries from various angles of bank and nose attitudes.  Instructor seemed happy and told me to set a course back to Redhill.  I found it quite difficult to identify where I was by looking at the ground features and identifying features on the map – also found it quite difficult to work out how to approach Redhill correctly so I ended up in the right place.  Still, I haven’t done much navigation training at all, so that is all to come in the future.

I managed a reasonable approach to the runway and an OK landing.  Still landing a bit “flat” so need to concentrate on this a bit in the future.  This will be my last lesson for a little while as I have a few other things arranged and Easter will soon be here.

Vital statistics.  Flying time 1hr 20mins with 1 landing.  Exercises 10a and 10b.

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