Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Maybe I need a new mnemonic?

I love the way that word is spelled... mnemonic.

I had a rough flight Saturday, one of my worst actually. We were going to do three short hops RHV to LSN to CVH to E16 back to RHV. It was supposed to be an exercise in entering the traffic pattern at different types of airports with different pattern rules and from different directions. All things I have very little experience with. All things I need to gain experience with before doing solo cross countries.

I expected to struggle on the pattern entries, do not so well on the radio calls at uncontrolled airports, do really well on cross country navigation and show my CFI that I got my landing mojo back. Oh how wrong I was.

I did OK on cross country navigation to the first airport, LSN. Struggled a bit on the radio calls as expected. Then I turned base and found myself rolling out of the base turn pointed down the runway on final somehow, proceeded to land with no clue as to why the plane wasn't behaving as I thought it should. Or I should say, attempted to proceed to land. Scott took the controls at the end of the landing, it was bad.

Turns out I was landing into a 10 knot cross wind and I wasn't even THINKING about winds at all after I got ATIS and figured out which runway I'd use. The actual direction and speed of the winds didn't enter my mind. So of course my landing was bad. Scott pointed out the cross wind and reminded me of what I'm supposed to do in a cross wind. (I used to be pretty good at crosswind take offs and landings). So, we went back up and tried again. I managed an actual base and final turn but the landing was still bad.. better, but bad.

That got me flustered and things just went downhill from there for the rest of the flight. I'll make note of the other things later.

The reason why I want a new mnemonic is I want an easy way to make sure I remember key things like Winds Direction Airspeed.. maybe it should be WAD? as in the plane will be in a tangled wad of metal at the end of the runway if I screw this up often enought? Dunno... more thoughts on this later.

-AB out.

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