Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Commercial Maneuvers and Baby Elephants

Last night was another great flight. It's so nice to fly again in cooler weather. The plane almost jumps into the air, and it's much easier to concentrate on leaning a new skill when you don't have sweat dripping down your face. I'm enjoying the commercial maneuvers. They're mostly about finesse and control of the airplane. They require the pilot to know the feel of the airplane and be able to work with all the various factors. When I'm successful in completing a manuever within PTS, I feel like I'm almost dancing with the plane-- like the sky is a big dancefloor and we are dipping and turning around it. I've seen Matt Younken (I think that's his name) do an airshow routine in a twin beech a few times-- it's a funny routing to watch as the plane is not one that is used for aerobatics. The music he chose to play along with his routine is a little quirky- I think it might be called "Baby Elephant Walk". As the music plays, he and the plane lumber up and down the runway. For whatever reason, when I do lazy 8s, that music plays in my head (trust me, lazy 8s are a far cry from the magic he is able to do with his twin).

M and I have quickly worked our way through all of the commercial maneuvers. To be honest, I thought it would take longer! Last night, we added eights on pylons and power-off 180s to the growing list of: steep turns, steep spirals, chandelles, lazy eights, and short field landings that we've been working on. We also covered oldies like simulated engine outs and power-on and power-off stalls, soft- and short- field take offs. Somehow we have skipped soft field landings, though I imagine we'll pick those up next lesson. After one more lesson, I hope to move on to complex operations: retractable gear and a fixed speed prop!

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