Compliments come in strange forms.... as I flew with my CFI this afternoon we were working on power off 180s which I had been having some trouble dialing in. [For those of you following at home, a power off 180 is a commercial maneuver where you cut the power to the plane abeam your landing point and you have to manage your airspeed and drag to land within 200 feet of that point, without adding any power.] My CFI quickly identified what I was doing wrong after the first time around. Next challenge, help me do it right. He started suggesting different techniques and quickly adjusted his suggestions for what was working for me. After three or four times around it was starting to click. After five or six times I was starting to get it.
A couple more time around he started talking about the golden retriever puppies he and his family have raised. He said something about how puppies start off a little unruly and he and his wife would have to console themselves by telling the puppy, "You're gonna be a great dog one day." Eventually the puppies would grow up and be great dogs and they could say to the dog, "Great dog!"
We did another touch and go after a particularly good power off 180. I'm accelerating the plane to Vy and retracting the gear. I heard the grin in his voice as he said, "You're gonna be a great power off 180 pilot one day." I smiled. By the time we were done flying that hour, I had transitioned from being consistently short to consistently making the runway. I discovered how much fun it was to adjust the glide and the radius of my turn towards the runway, using the flaps a little or a lot, or slipping aggressively to bleed off a lot of altitude or slipping a little to bleed off a little.
Yeah, I believe he's right. I'm going to be a great power off 180 pilot (and not only that) one day and that day is not far off at all!