Monday, 19 August 2013

Of cephalopods and time machines

Many strange things happen when you get so far along in your flight training. Your ability to distort the space time continuum is but one of them.

Let me explain, part of the problem when you are first starting out is that you simply don’t have enough time, hands or capacity to do everything when you need to. Eventually you start to gain extra time from somewhere and possibly extra hands as well. It really is a shame that the octopus and the time machine don’t make an appearance at the start when you really need them!
Today we were doing simple power off stalls, both with and without flaps. Previously something which has caused me to complain most vociferously at being forced to carry out. Today it just didn’t seem to faze me, at all. I just kinda blocked the irritating whine of the stall horn and did what I needed to do. I’m confident now that I am actually stalling the plane. Today I felt the stall occur and noticed that Bob’s hands were nowhere near the controls, meaning that he’s not having to help me along*.

I realised today that a lot of my troubles with stalls and steep turns actually comes from my posture. I naturally tend to lean forwards; this is true if I’m at my desk at work, or watching TV at home. When flying this means that I have a tendency to push the nose down, especially during manoeuvres. I have to really make sure that I’m relaxing back in my seat. Of course the easier the flying is becoming, the more relaxed I am; this becomes a whole lot easier.
Bob complimented me on the fact that I recover easily and gently from these power off stalls, I don’t bring the nose down too much and dive the plane. The truth is it is easy to get the nose down just right. All I need to do is bring my body back to my natural sitting position and the nose dips just enough to break the stall.  Simple!

I honestly don’t know where the time is coming from, during the whole recovery process I was sitting there waiting for the airspeed to come up enough to get a positive rate of climb and thus bring the flaps from 20 to 10 degrees.

WAITING for god’s sake, how the heck did that happen? Where was that damn time machine when I needed it a year ago?
* I have a tendency to fight the back pressure and not actually stall the plane, today I seemed to be doing okay.



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