Saturday, February 5, 2011

Feb 4 - very very close

Went to preflight 93K and turned on the master and the flaps wouldn't go down when I flipped the switch. So I flipped it back up and back down and nothing. Then up and back down again and nothing. So, buttoned up the plane, went back inside... squawked the problem and checked out 31E. Finished preflight on 31E and saw the mechanic working on 93K. I asked him how it was and he said the flaps worked first time. I reached in, flipped on the Master, flap switch, and down come the flaps. *sigh* I decided to look at it as an opportunity to practice in a plane I don't fly very often.

The flying went very well, in spite of the strange handling of 31E. Not that it was bad, it was just different. Either way I did good. Key note: when I use flaps must verify the flaps are actually at the setting I think it is at. The one go-around I did it was because I was too high on base and didn't deploy enough flaps to get down. Every time I thought I was putting down the flaps I wasn't putting them down fully. So the next time around my CFI had me turn base early and start deploying flaps, and *verifying* the flaps each time. Ended up doing a full flaps landing practically on the numbers from the same high altitude I had to go around from immediately before. I now have a new triple word to add to my list FlapsAndVerify. This goes along with PlacardedAndDisabled (for inoperative but non-required instruments) and TuneAndIdentify (for using VORs).

The landings weren't as great as they have been. Not bad, but just not great... I wasn't looking at the end of the runway right. I need to look at the end of the runway like my eyes are laser beams and never stop flying the plane. (Yeah, I know it sounds weird but it makes sense when you do it.)

At the end of the flight this was the discussion:

"Are you confident you can fly the plane and not kill yourself?"


"Are you confident you won't damage the plane?"


"Ready to solo tomorrow"?


I had had too many good lessons followed by bad lessons to think I could just go solo the next day...not to mention my Saturday bug-a-boo. So I told him we'll have to see after Saturday's flight.

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