Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Attitude’s improving

One of the things you have to do when under the hood is a recovery from an unusual attitude. I’ve blogged about this before a while back. It’s a messed up thing to do to someone like me. Basically while I’m under the hood, Bob gets me to close my eyes (amazingly I actually comply with this request… no peeking!) and then he does something weird to the plane. Something outside the normal operating envelope.

When it is nice and messed up he calls “recover” and I am tasked with getting us back flying sensibly again.
Bob takes control and does something with the plane. I can kind of feel us turning and the engine pitch changing occasionally. I concentrate on not feeling ill. The anticipation builds, Bob’s taking his time over this. I lightly rest my feet on the rudder pedals, dreading Bob putting me into a power on stall or something (I can hear that the engine is running at least at part if not full RPM), I want to be ready on that rudder if needed to pick up a wing.

I look at the airspeed indicator, its highish but not yet in the amber stage. It might be creeping up. Sort that out. Pull back some power; I don’t feel the need to bring it fully back to idle. Next the wings. Not level, not even close. That’s easily dealt with.

We are straight and level, that was …… easy. I look expectantly at Bob, looking for the catch. That was way too easy, obviously I missed something.
Apparently not, it really is that simple. We try another. Again Bob takes his sweet time. I focus on the engine sound as I know my inner ear is of no use to me turn wise. However, that my ear does recognise. That’s the stall horn.

“I can hear what you are doing,” I inform Bob.
“Recover,” he retorts.

Even without that audible clue I know that my airspeed shouldn’t be that low. I resist the urge to shove the nose down and instead just relax it down to horizon level. I am authoritative with the power, full in and get us flying as opposed to mushing again. At the same time I reach down just to check that Bob hasn’t done something sneaky with the flaps. No I’m good but hell, what has he done with the sodding trim?
I muster up whatever puny muscle power I can manage and wrestle the plane into something resembling straight and level flight. Trimmed and ready to go. Obviously Bob’s satisfied as he’s moved onto my next task.

Take off the hood and figure out where the hell you are.
Hmm, think I preferred it back under there actually.

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