January 6th, 2012 was a great day to fly! We had a 20 knot wind out of the south west that we took to our advantage, and clear skies for all intent and purpose. All that and I had a blast!
We started out with a half hour ground lesson about traffic patterns and the workings of them. We also reviewed information that we had gone over the previous few lessons. After that we headed out for the plane and almost didn't make it. We got about half way there and one of the guys came out of the building and motioned us over. He thought that some one had already booked the plane we were about to use before we had. If that had proved true that meant that we wouldn't have a plane to use for the day. Two of the planes were down for maintenance, two were already rented and flying and the last, ours, was apparently already booked. That did not sit well with me as I haven't flown since December 16th. So we checked it out in the rental program and found that who ever was scheduled to fly it, had canceled. WE HAD A PLANE!
We did a preflight and started it up and I taxied out to the runway and Mike showed me how to check to make sure the magnetos were both working. After all checks were good I taxied on to the runway and pushed the throttle to the firewall and let her roll down the runway. At 55 knots I pulled back on the yoke and took off into some cool, yet bumpy air. Wow what a work out! I was sweating by the time we leveled off at 3,000 feet.
After flying out towards London, OH I was eager to start doing the maneuvers we had been talking about! First we set up the airplane like we were going to land and did some slow flight while maintaining our current altitude. Then we proceeded to go into a power off stall and just pulled back on the yoke and let the plane slow way down and drop! Wow what a rush, that's all I can say! After a few stalls we did some steep turns. We were banked at 45 degrees and to keep our altitude I had to pull back on the yoke quite a bit. Boy was I pinned to my seat!
So like I said we had a twenty knot wind from the South West, and since an airplane stays aloft due to air flowing over the wings it doesn't matter if it's from forward motion or from the wind. So we pointed our nose into the wind reduced our power and lowered a little bit of flaps to increase lift. As we reduced our power our airspeed indicator said we were still flying at about 100 knots, but we looked down and it didn't look like we were going any where! We had one thing that let us know exactly how fast we were going, a GPS. I looked down and would you look at that 16 knots! Mike said we could go up when the wind was a little faster and we could fly backwards! I can't wait for that!
After about an hour or flying we headed back to the airport where I flew the pattern a couple times while Mike did a touch and go and I got to set us up for landing the last time. Mike put her down with finesse, and barely squeaked the tires when we touched down. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day to fly and was psyched that we actually finally went up! I now have 3 hours and am learning so much every day.
3 hours down and a life time to learn!
I'll take pictures next Friday when we go up and post them here.