Your connection with the sky

June 11th, 2012: Revelations

, June 11th, 2012

June 11th, 2012: Takeoffs and 3 Point Landings at Petaluma Municipal

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I Just have to say, today felt really good. Compared to last week when I just botched attempt after attempt and went home feeling more than a little disappointed, today felt very good. There wasn't much time to think about anything. As soon as I got to the airport I checked out the plane and we were off, straight out on 26 out of Skypark and headed over the Petaluma Gap at 1700 feet on our way up to Petaluma Municipal. I headed north west up along the edge of the hills and made my left turn about 3 miles out for a 45 degree approach into the right downwind pattern for runway 29. Read More >>

June 7th, 2012 Review Day at Skypark

, June 7th, 2012

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When I looked at the syllabus for today, I wasn't quite sure what that meant, review, but I soon discovered, it meant exactly what it said, I was going to do a little of everything I had learned up to this point. I was a little nervous I suppose, as I had been thinking so much about landings for the last week that I hadn't given much thought to the other maneuvers, but today I had to repeat them all, to the best of my ability. This included full power climbs at a given speed, turning ascents, controlled turns, power on and power off stalls, emergency engine failure, flying at slow speed, flying under the hood, i.e., IFR practice, turning on a point and well, at least 3 more take offs and landings. Read More >>

June 6th, 2012: Wheel Landings at Napa County Airport

, June 6th, 2012

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June 6th, 2012: Wheel Landings at Napa County Airport

So just to throw me for a loop I'm sure, while I was just barely starting to get the hang of 3 wheel "tail" landings and flying around new airspace at Petaluma Municipal Airport, my instructor decided it was time to have me learn wheel landings. Wheel landings are basically the opposite of tail landings, instead of coming in near the ground and flaring up and dropping softly to the ground, the idea is to come in with more speed, fly along the ground and plaster the landing gear onto the ground while keeping the tail high as you roll out at a much higher speed down the runway eventually bringing the tail down as you slow down. At least, that's the theory, and I sound good saying it, but I had a hell of a time doing it. I actually thought I was going to be good at this right off the bat as to me, it just seems like a more reasonable way to land, but no matter how bad I wanted it, I just couldn't pull it off, which was ultimately pretty disappointing. For the most part my glide in was good, as well as my positioning on the runway and my landing point, but it seemed that each time I got just ready to put the wheels down I would pull too far back on the stick and start to flare, coming down with a thud and a bounce in an erratic 3 wheel landing instead which inevitably ended up in a forced takeoff and go around. The good news is, I got really proficient at recovering from my botched landings and getting immediately back in the air, the bad news of course, is that out of 10 attempts, only 2 were successful. Read More >>

June 3rd, 2012 More Takeoffs & Landings at Petaluma Municipal

, June 3rd, 2012

Checked the weather today and could see that we were going to have rain tomorrow so thought I'd just run out to Skypark and see if Travis was flying today. Turns out there was a 5 o'clock slot open so I jumped on it.

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June 1st, 2012: Takeoffs & Landings from Petaluma Municipal

, June 1st, 2012

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My CFI, Travis, ran me through fueling the Citabria today so I'm now all checked out on pumping gas. Once we were all fueled up it was time for take offs and landingsā€¦lots of them. I have to say, I can't get enough of these. Probably a little hard on the tires and landing gear, but I could do them for hours. Read More >>