Daily Pilot's Journal

Read the complete day-by-day flight log of an actual student pilot, from the first takeoff to the signing of his private pilot's license. Written promptly at the end of every flight, each entry is completely unedited - detailing the successes, failures, and mistakes we all encounter along this long road.
Day 26 - Tying up Loose Ends
Wednesday, 8/08/06 9:00am - Clear skies, no wind. Andy had flown at 7am and I'd jumped into this slot at the last minute because the weather was so good. Stan informed me he had a physical scheduled for 11am so we could only fly for a short time. Also, Bridgeport airport was closed because they were painting all runways.

"No problem", I told him. I'd intended on practicing the little things I'd only gotten to do once - turns about a point, S-turns, and emergency landings. Stan was agreeable and after demonstrating a short-field takeoff on runway 1 we were heading toward the Northport stacks.

Stan cut the throttle to idle and told me to make an emergency landing. I chose a good field although it wasn't the field he'd picked in his head. I forgot to get to best glide speed (73 knots) and was descending too fast. Fixed that, then headed for the field and lowered flaps. It was a crappy approach, and I wasn't happy with it. We gained altitude and headed toward the shore, and after another few minutes Stan cute the throttle again. This time I pulled back on the yoke to get into best glide speed and picked the same landing field Stan did - a narrow but long strip of cut grass. Turns out that in the event of an engine failure you have a lot longer in the air than you'd think. Checked systems left to right, flaps down, made a nice downwind on the side of the field and then cut back to an approach. Still way too high, I turned the approach into another downwind and announced my intention to land in the opposite direction. Coming in, Stan agreed that I would make the landing and so we bled off the flaps and throttled up.

Pointing to a tower, Stan had me do turns about a point. This was easy. It was nothing more than maintaining a shallow turn and adjusting for the wind as we changed direction. He pointed out a long straight line of power cables and asked me to do S-turns on it. I performed four very easy, very perfect S-turns, which immediately gave me great confidence. Stan didn't say much, which is generally a good sign. I did notice that I'd gained 300ft of altitude while doing those turns, so I made a note to watch my VSI next time I tried it.

It was soon time to head back to Farmingdale, where I made a semi-decent landing on runway 1. The weather was so good and the sky so clear I decided to fly tonight as well, so I'll be coming back at 8pm to put in some night time. And I've got a lot of night landings to do.

Flying hours today: 0.5       Total: 35.0

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