keep smiling (and flying)...

Lesson Three - August 9, 2013

Tenam P92 Eaglet

Today is all about turns. I’m still trying to get ‘comfortable’ in the aircraft. I feel as though I’m pushed up against the windscreen and the stick is high up against my upper thighs and my view out the left is the side pillar that sits between the windscreen and door.

Again it was a westerly wind and takeoff was from runway 25. Off in the direction of Bribie Island training area.

At the end of this session I still found turns uncomfortable and that’s mostly due to my seating position and my headset hitting the side pillar on the slightest roll of the airplane. I decided that I’ll try my best with this aircraft and strive to achieve some level of comfortable but certainly wouldn’t be going out to purchase one.

Turning is necessary part of any flight and sitting on the left side certainly gives a difference perspective than sitting on the right side. My instructor would constantly be telling me to look straight ahead whilst doing a turn and I couldn’t understand this as I feel I needed to look what I may be turning into. This was such a strange concept for me… to start and continuing to turn but looking at a spot in the horizon in the other direction than I was actually going.

Another thing that was starting to irk me was the holding of the stick. The instructor just wanted a couple of fingertips barely touching. I wasn’t at the comfortable stage with the aircraft yet and thought that this will all come in time and I would release my grip with time.

He wanted this now and considered this an “expansion of my boundaries”. I didn’t! I think you become comfortable in your own time and when comfortable you’re willing to challenge yourself more. But some people need to be pushed, I dislike it immensely.

So we climbed up to 3500ft at 110kts and did turns at 65kts. Turns from straight and level, climbing and descending, gliding and with the use of flaps.

Medium level turn: using constant power to enter, maintain and roll out of turn.

Altitude and airspeed was satisfactory, with the aircraft trimmed the best I could do. I find a point on the horizon to stare at and use as a point to roll out of the turn.

Flying-Monster mascot with her Peltor headset

I do my lookout check for obstacles and other aircraft, I roll with the use of the aileron and use the rudder to keep the balance ball centred and with some back pressure applied to the stick. I have to make sure I have maintained the same altitude.

I’m in the turn I have to concentrate on keeping the bank angle with the ailerons, keep watching the balance ball and correct with rudder and keeping that back pressure on the stick. I’m now ready to roll out of my turn, I’m still looking ahead and checking that my reference point is in sight, rollout and watching the balance ball, correcting with rudder if needed and release the back pressure and get back to the straight and level attitude. Yay! Turn completed.

I also done revision on straight and level, climbing and descending and turns.