Today was my third day of flying and my sixth and seventh flight lesson. At the first flight this morning we practiced a lot of turns. I was giving a heading, and while maintaining height and speed I turned to and level out at the specific heading. No problems there and quite a smooth ride. At my second flight a we should practice STALL and side slip. Most of you have probably heard about an airplane stalling due to slow flight or too high an angle of attack (the angle of the wings compaired to the oncoming airflow). It is nothing to be alarmed about, but very important to practice – especially recovery of the stall. The side slip used to be the standard procedure of loosing height – for instance before landing when too high – before the invention of the flaps around the Second World War. It is simply a way of flying the airplane where you bank without turning, thus exposing a lot of the airframe to the wind, resulting in a lot of drag (resistance) and by that loosing height. When recovering and climbing again we pulled some G’s, and when I expressed this to Marco, he said, OK you like G’s, then let’s try this! WHAT a rollercoaster ride! Down and up and around!
With this experience trying to settle in my stomach, we went on to the next exercises – Stall! We lowered the airspeed to stall speed and heard the stall indicator go off; felt the plane shook, and then did a recovery by pitching the nose down and apply full power. This we did a couple of times with and without power and flaps, again up and down, sometimes loosing 500 feet in a couple of seconds. What a rush!
I thought that this was all the lesson of the flight when Marco said; let’s simulate an engine failure, and try to “land” at some grass field. So power to idle, wings level, lowering the airspeed, doing a simulated check of engine recovery without success, securing the engine, simulating a distress call to the tower, all by still flying the airplane and keeping the selected field in sight and approaching it ready to touch down. And down we went with full flaps – 300 feet, 200 ft, 100 ft, we finally leveled out at about 50 feet (15 meters) above the ground, applied full power again and climbed to 1.000 feet. This we practiced three times before finally heading back to Naples.
Again I flew all the way back (I do fly most of the time), talked to the control tower reported us for inbound, and obtained our landing permit. When at final before touchdown usually Marco takes the control, but not this time, I landed the plane almost all by myself, it wasn’t the prettiest landing, but hey! Unlike the Dash-8 planes in DK our landing gear held J
In all a very tense good hour, with A LOT of information fighting to get the space in my brain!
The rest of the day I have been studying for the Air Law exam I intend to take tomorrow – it’s one of the tricky ones but I think I’m in the safe zone now. Will let you know tomorrow.
Keep happy, and stay tuned at my blog!