Stranded In The Southland

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect

I headed out today for a bit of solo flying to try to reinforce the lessons from Saturday's tour of small airports. It turned out that there was a bunch of haze over those airports, so I opted to just stay in the flight pattern at Chino and practice landings.

It kind of fun to do something I felt so comfortable with, and I was excited to get a chance to work on maintaining a steady, low speed into my landings. One of the toughest parts of the upcoming practical test is the short field landing, in which you demonstrate that you could put the plane down on at a tiny airfield. You have to come in slow with full flaps, and put the plane right on the ground, right at the start of the runway.

I'd been feeling nervous about my ability to get the plane slowed down and where I wanted, so it was great to have a chance to really work on it, and try out a bunch of different techniques. Plus, it was kind of interesting to see two Cessnas get within a few hundred feet of landing on each other -- the tower kept saying "Turn east, turn east, go around, go around" and finally the clueless guy got the point and pulled up. I kept waiting for the tower to give the guy a number to call (when you really screw up, you have to call the tower and explain yourself after you land), but he seemed to get away with it. Doh.