Stranded In The Southland

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back At 'Em

Well, I finally got back in the air. This time, I got to pre-flight the plane myself, contact both ground for taxi information and the tower for takeoff clearance, and got to fly out to the practice area myself. It all felt pretty ragged, though -- I was always kind of reacting to what the plane was doing, rather than anticipating what was going to happen. I guess it'll just take some time to get a handle on this.

We did some climbs and turns, until I reminded C. that we'd done that last time, and then we did slow flight and stalls. I had a heck of a time recovering from stalls -- I was all about jamming on the throttle (which is apparently hard on the engine; I'm supposed to gently advance the throttle) and shoving the yoke forward (again, I'm supposed to bring the plane level, rather than dive it into the ground) and then I just kinda stop (I'm supposed to get the plane into a climbing attitude and gradually remove flaps until I'm back at cruise speed and the altitude I started at).

I can remember the steps, but I've yet to internalize them. I figured that once you got the throttle on and the nose down, you'd taken care of the important part of stall recovery. Not so much, I guess. I'll keep rehearsing this from the comfort of my desk chair -- I've got all this information in my fore-brain, where it doesn't do me much good, and I need to beat it into my lizard brain so that I can just react to events without even thinking about them, the way I can in the car.

It's funny -- I figured that my experience with high-performance driving would help out with this, but it is increasingly clear that driving is pretty simple compared to flying. It's all about getting the feel of the car in the seat of your pants and then teaching yourself how to react to the various inputs. There are just a few more inputs on the plane -- pitch and roll as well as the yaw you have in the car, and so much more to worry about!

Oh, well, hopefully I'll figure it out as time goes by!