I was mildly apprehensive though because I knew that we were going to be revisiting slow flight and stalls. I do not like those, one bit, as I may have mentioned a few thousand times before. I think it came across a little in the pre-flight briefing. I’m so easy to read, when I start exhaling loudly and laughing nervously, then yeah I’m a little out of my comfort zone. Bob was quick to reassure “It’ll be so different now; you know what you’re doing. The plane will feel different, you’ll do fine.”I decided to put it to the back of my mind and concentrate on getting the flight out to Claremont right, proving that I haven’t picked up any bad habits since my last trips out there solo and just consolidating my navigation skills. That bit went quite well, I kept up a reasonable commentary, letting Bob know what I was planning. Reassuring him that I was comfortably ahead of the plane.
Eventually we scoped out our little corner of the sky and I carried out my HASEL* checks and started getting us into slow flight. Initially I wasn’t sure I could recall the sequence of actions needed, power back first then flaps, I think? I overcooked it a little, heading more to a stall than slow flight but got her stabilised at roughly 5 knots above stall speed, the stall horn bleating intermittently.Bob looked on slightly bemused as I simultaneously added power to stop the descent and argued with the stall horn; “yeah yeah! Screech screech screech!”
I added the power, following Bob’s advice to not be too timid with it. A good 500 rpm stopped any height loss. I took stock of my surroundings. I was at the correct speed, not losing any height with the stall horn cutting in and out. I looked over at Bob, slightly confused, “Is that it?” I asked.“Yes, you’re in slow flight, try a turn to the left please”
So I did, gently, keeping in some rudder to coordinate “What the hell was I getting stressed about?” I ask, perhaps Bob, perhaps the world in general.I honestly have no idea. It was fine, seriously fine. The mere sound of the stall horn used to send my heart rate sky high, now I find it a minor nuisance noise.
The plane does exactly what I want it to do and exactly what I expect it to do. No surprises, no stress, no hassles. I may be convinced that I can do these things solo.No sweat.
*More on what those are in another post