Posted by: Brian | January 12, 2010

More Basic Maneuvers.

Yesterday was more of the same as from the previous day.  I needed more work on the Dutch Rolls, which we practiced again.  I am ‘slowly’ getting the hang of the rudder pedals, but not quite there yet.  There is so much going on, between having to scan my instruments, look for traffic and conduct the maneuver that my CFI wants me to, I forget some of the fundamentals such as rudder use.  I am beginning to use my trim more, but I need it to be second nature.  Level out, THEN trim.  As my CFI states, “trim is a poor man’s autopilot.”

Roughly what the route looks like...

I was also introduced to “Clearing Turns”.  A bit of confusion set in with this one: whenever you bank right or left, you need to lift the wing in the direction you about about to turn to check for traffic.  Once clear, you can commence with your turn.  I heard my CFI say, “Ok, let’s do some clearing turns”.  I thought I had been doing them this whole time any time I needed to make a turn.  Silence ensues in the cockpit.  He then asks, “How do you do clearing turns?”.  Silence.  I knew the answer couldn’t have been as easy as what I have been doing for the past few lessons; there must’ve been something I was missing.  There was.

In a nutshell, any time you are about to conduct a maneuver that requires pitch changes, such as slow flights or stalls, you need to clear your turns.  And no, it’s not the same as simply lifting your wing to check your blind spot.  It’s pretty simple, actually: lift your wing to check your blind spot (ok, so it’s a PART of this maneuver!), then use a bank angle of 30 degrees in the direction you just cleared, check mixture rich during turn.  These turns are always done at 90 degree heading changes.  Once you get to 1/2 of the bank angle of your desired heading, turn the opposite direction and pull the carb heat (again, a 30 degree bank angle and a 90 degree turn).  Bring the yoke back around to straight and level flight while reducing the power to the desired airspeed (depending on the maneuver).  Additionally, you must maintain the altitude.

I promise you, after going through that last night, I will a) never forget how to do Clearing Turns and b) know exactly what I need to know prior to the next training session.  So, before my next session, I need to know how to do Clearing Turns, Slow Flight, Approach to Landing Stalls, Power off descents at Best Glide (65).  We will be doing some more Dutch Rolls, Climbing and descending turns, Constant Airspeed Climbs, and Constant Airspeed Descents.  I am thoroughly enjoying this, but there is a ton still to learn.  Not that it becomes too much easier in the near future, but like anything, once you have the fundamentals down, I don’t care what you say, it does become a bit easier…

Hours Yesterday / Total Hours: 1.4 / 4.0

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