Lesson 16 - Sunday April 4th
Foggy, with Two Landings
Tanya calls me early to tell me it's a bit windy, and see if I'm up for it (meaning if I'm going to get sick or not).. I tell here I'm feeling fine, there seems to be no way of really telling. The weather looks pretty good. A bit hazy up the coast, but not too bad.
Into the classroom again to start, Tanya tells me we are going to do ground reference maneuvers, which sounds good to me. She describes the S-Turn and the turn around the point, and the rectangular course. All basically the same idea, you need to bank steeper as your ground speed increases, which is when you are flying with the wind. You also need to crab into the wind a bit on any crosswind component.
The airport is really busy again, weekend traffic. We have to wait around 15 minutes until we are cleared for takeoff, with a long line of other planes waiting as more planes are landing.
Finally we get up in the air. Climbing up to around 3500 feet it gets pretty misty, we go up a bit more, and then Tanya tells me to descend to 2500 feet (normally we'd fly at 4500, you fly at 2500, 4500, 6500, etc, when flying VRF in a westerly direction).
As we get out to Point Dume, Tanya spots a plane following us back off to her side (the right). It's going to the same place as us, seemingly to do the same thing. We head a bit further north, and Tanya talks to SoCal on the radio, so they can keep track of the both of us. We were monitoring SoCal earlier, and we heard them advising the other plane that we were there.
Tanya demos an S-Turn, heading inland, then 180 degrees right back to the road, then 180 degrees left. There is not much wind here, so the turns are banked pretty evenly.
I have a go now, I do the turns, but Tanya is distracted, looking for the other plane. It's seems to be getting foggy as well. She says it's getting a bit dubious, with visibility and other traffic, so we should go back and do a couple of landings.
So we head back, at a nice low 1500 feet, quite picturesque over Malibu beach and PCH.
The first landing was just as chaotic as before, not bad, just not really feeling like I'm in control. WE land safely, and this time we taxi back to try again. My first multi-landing flight!
SO we take off, and this time instead of "right turn at shoreline", it's "left closed traffic". I've actually done this before in the go-arounds. Basically climb up as normal, turn left at Lincoln, level out at 1400 feet, power back to 2000, nose up a bit, turn downwind, report downwind south abeam, then a normal landing, except turing to the left (which is actually the normal way for most airports, just SMO has this right traffic pattern as that's where most of the traffic comes from).
Landing pretty much the same. I loose track of things, like the airspeed. It might take me a bit of practice.
(c) 2004 Mick West