Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Victory...Lesson 13

Nice day to fly, visibility was good, clouds were high so pretty smooth flying. I wanted to really concentrate on holding altitude, holding airspeed and perfecting my takeoffs.

I tend to make takeoffs harder for myself by holding the airplane on the ground longer than necessary. So with the tail in the air, it's harder to control and I start swerving. This time as soon as we hit 50-55mph or so, I gave a little back pressure and the airplane flew right off. I was already holding right rudder (I start as soon as the tail comes up) so I flew straight. My instructor was impressed.

We practiced steep turns. Those sure messed with my head a little but I did alright. I only lost 100ft so that was good. We don't have an attitude indicator in the Cub so we guessed what 45 degrees looked like.

Then it was time to practice landings. We headed over to HIO which is a Class D tower airport. I normally go to untowered airports but HIO has a nice big runway and is close. I made the inbound call but my instructor took over repeating back to the tower as we haven't worked on that yet. Wind was 200 but they were using runway 31 instead of 20 so we had a little tailwind.

We set up for a straight in approach and looked and looked for traffic. It was busy. I made an adequate bounced landing but my takeoff was horrendous. I held right rudder for some reason when I needed left but we made it off before running off the runway and departed to the South to go do landings at Twin Oaks.

My first landing I bounced of course but got down safely. I did it all myself. It wasn't pretty but no groundlooping!

I did another great takeoff and flew the pattern and held altitude pretty well. I always come in a little high so we did a forward slip. Before the numbers I straightened out and did my best landing to date. No bounce, all three wheels hitting at the same time and straight. I thought for sure my instructor helped but then I heard her laugh and tell me "that's how it's done. You did that on your own!".

I was so incredibly happy. Finally it was coming together. My next trip around the pattern was pretty much the same and I made another really great 3 pt landing (a little crooked this time but I was able to keep it under control). We actually did a touch and go this time, which I love doing.

The third and final trip around the pattern we were coming in over the trees and it felt like the bottom fell out of the plane and we dropped. I added power and asked what on earth that was. I think she said wind shear caused by the trees. It rattled me and this landing was not very good, safe but not pretty. I bounced a little.

By this time I was tired and wanted to end on a good note so we taxiied back. So much fun today and I feel like I can really do this now!

Date: 5/01/2012
Hobbs time: 1.1
Instructor time: 1.1

Total time toward ppl: 16.9


  1. It is fun to follow your progress, it sounds like you're doing great. It's been a long time since I was a primary student, and this takes me back to that time! It's especially great to see someone learning in a taildragger. Don't worry about braving big wind yet. What is it they say about discretion being the better part of valor? It took me a several years of solo tailwheel piloting in zero to light wind before I was confident enough to brave big wind-- baby steps. The most important thing is to not damage the plane! Haha. You are in good hands with Emily. I would like to send my wife out with her for a pinch hitter lesson.