the adventures of me

Saturday 11/09/13 – Fun Weather Facts

by on Nov.19, 2013, under Flying

Today was weather day. This really was not as boring as I thought it would be.  We went over general weather map information. I learned how High & Low air pressure affect flying. High air pressure makes for a nice ride, but can damper visibility. Where as Low pressure is nice clean air but can be very bumpy. There is a lot more to it than that but that’s the gist of it. One of the things I learned was what a dew point was. I may have learned this in school at one point, but that was when this type of thing was not important. The great thing was the correlation of temperature and dew point.

After class I met up with my Dad & Kathie for some lunch at Wings. Dad & Kathie were excited to see some large private jets. Once we got done eating we headed back to PFC and I showed them around. N569FL was just coming back in from a flight so I waited a few minutes and greeted the student & instructor. With the Check list in hand I proceeded to show Dad & Kathie the airplane and how to do a preflight. Dad immediately declared I was flying a sardine can and would not ever be getting in it. We end up going inside & I placed a order for fuel. It seemed pretty important to order that. I introduce Mark to Dad & Kathie and we finish up our preflight. We plan on heading over to Willimantic today.

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We hop into the plane and begin to tax off to runway 20. As I am taking off Mark tells me he taking the controls and does a wing wobble to say bye to Dad & Kathie. We quickly turn left to avoid the noise sensitive area. It never amazes me how much people will cry about loud noises areas that were built prior to them being there. While we are heading to Windham mark has me perform “slow flight”. This consists of reducing power as much as possible and lowering the flaps to 30 degrees. Mark told me to bring the speed down to 65 mph (stall speed in this configuration is 54 mph) and keep the nose up to keep generating lift. Okay this is easy enough to do, boring but easy enough. We do this for a little bit and then Mark has me perform a 10 degree banked 360 turn left & right.

After I get done with that Mark instructs me to power up and get ready to perform steep turns. A steep turn is any turn over 30 degrees of bank. My target is 45 degrees. One of the key things to remember while performing this turn is the need to pull back on the yoke to keep generating lift as the plane will want to descend. The first set of turns were pretty terrible, I dropped 300′. Mark tells me to do it again. This time I nailed it, I believe I kept it within 25′ of my starting altitude the entire time. It was also good enough that Mark said if this was a check ride that would of been a perfect passing example.

Next I get told to do slow flight again. Except this time, Bring it down to 60 mph. Now that I am at 60 mph perform a 10 degree bank, 360 degree turn. This takes about forever and a half. It took so long, I had a birthday cake delivered to us. After straightening out, Mark tells me to we are going to do a stall. We go over every step he wants me to do, and I repeat it back to him for confirmation. I slow it down to 55 mph and man this thing does not want to fly. I’m pulling back trying to keep the nose up and it just does not want to stay up. Finally I pull the throttle back and its really trying to fight me. But I win, I see the stall light light up and QUICKLY after the nose dives. I push the yoke forwards and give it some throttle, get some airspeed and pull back. We dropped 3 or 500′ and it felt like nothing. It was pretty awesome and Mark has me do it again.

Mark notices we are pretty close to Groton and advises me to turn north towards Windham. We get there after about 5 minutes or so. Mark sets the radio to the CTAF frequency (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) and we hear another pilot announcing his intentions to enter the pattern and to land. We quickly spot him shortly after and do the same. This is the first time I am landing at uncontrolled airport. So I am a bit nervous on this one. I land fine and quickly get off the runway and taxi back to the run up area. We hang out a bit and watch some other planes land.

After a few minutes we proceed to take off again. It’s Saturday and we are running low on time so we pretty much B line it back to Hartford. As we made good time Mark had me do some more 45 degree turns. As we approach Hartford, Mark gets us approved for a straight in approach. As we get ready to land we notice that we have a nice cross wind. This was a little bit more hairy than the other day but not that bad.

During our post flight I told Mark that the first 45 degree turn really racked my nerves, but when he showed it to me and how he just threw it into a 45 degree bank, it made it much easier to do. Mark tells me that on Wednesday we would be doing more slow flight, steep turns and stalls.

  This Flight Total
# of Take Offs 2 9
# of Landings 2 9
X-Country Hours 0 0
Night Hours 0 0
Total Flight Time 1.5 Hours 6.7 Hours

Airports visited so far: KHFD, KGON, KOXC, KHVN, KIJD

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