Lesson 10 - Friday March 5th
Dodging Clouds. Bit of a Flap.
It's a bit misty today and Tanya calls to tell me about this. She suggests we wait another half an hour to see if it clears up.
So I arrive at the airport ant 9:30AM, and it's no better, possibly worse, but we go up to take a look.
It's pretty poor visibility when we get up. But not bad enough to just go back, so we head up the coast.
This time I'm wearing my brand new wrist bands. "Sea-Bands", just an elasticated cotton band with a plastic bead in it that presses into your wrist. I'm rather skeptical when it comes to "alternative" medicine, but I figure it can't hurt.
I'm determined not to get sick this time, so as well as the wrist bands I've abstained from booze for the last 24 hours (such a hardship!), and brought along some water, and some Altoids (strong peppermints). I also had a couple of slices of toast for breakfast. Hopefully this will ad up to the magic anti-sickness formula
There are a bunch of clouds at 3500 feet, so we go under them at 3000 feet. We actually spend much of the lesson at unusual altitudes to avoid clouds. It's imperative that you don't fly into a cloud, as you could get totally disoriented and loose control (well, I could). Plus you can't see other traffic, which could be dangerous.
So we do more slow flight, power off and power on stalls and dodge the clouds, then we head back.
Turing base leg Tanya has me extend the flaps. Unfortunately the flap level is sticking a bit. I get the first notch out, then as we are turning final (turning to fly directly down to land), I can't get the next notch in. I'm struggling with it, and with the plane lurching around, and me pushing and pulling, I manage to retract the flaps again.
"Whoa!", says Tanya, as we hurtle toward the ground, "you don't want to do that".
"Sorry", I say, and pull the lever, this the level cooperates, but rather too much, and I fully extend all three notches of flaps at once.
"You don't want to do that either", says Tanya, as the nose sways up and down, "you don't want to make too many changes to the configuration when on final approach".
So I sit tight as Tanya brings us in for a nice smooth landing. OR course there was not any real danger. At that stage we could easily initiated a go-around. Plus you'd never be struggling with the flaps if you were actually at a dangerous height. You'd either land without flaps, or go around and sort them out at a safe height. What I did was just wrong, not dangerous. I hope.
Oh, and I did not get sick! I'm not sure if the wrist bands actually had any effect, but I'll keep wearing them for a while.
(c) 2004 Mick West