Thursday, 20 February 2014

In a flap.

Yep I did something stupid today. I guess it couldn’t have been massively dangerous as both myself and the plane made it back intact. Even Bob shrugged it off as “well you noticed eventually, didn’t you?”

Bit of background first, when practicing forced approaches in winter, we don’t pull the power all the way back, mainly because the cooling that ensues followed by the sudden application of power when you overshoot, may mean the loss of the word “practice” from your forced approach.  Winter ops call for about 1100rpm and 10 degrees of flaps to simulate the lack of engine. This is usually fine.

Today I did my first forced approach ok but was slightly unhappy with the way I had to make some “S” turns on final. I decided (a little half-heartedly I guess) to give it another try, different field this time. I pulled back the power, dropped the flaps and set up to my field. 

My speed control had been a little all-over the place for the first attempt, so I concentrated on fixing that. I lost sight of my field.  I decided to “cheat” a little and head to another, then realised that I wasn’t really doing myself any favours. I was just dicking around up there with no real purpose. I aborted the attempt and climbed back up to a safe altitude, banking at the same time to remain south of Claremont.

The plane felt weird, heavy almost. Hard work for sure but I nursed her back up to 2500 feet. At this point I decided to call it a day, I’d achieved what I wanted to and made my radio call to exit the practice area. Set up for the cruise back to City, I did my quick scan of the instruments and gauges adding in a check of the fuel systems as well.

And then I noticed it.

Yep, I still have 10 degrees of flaps down.


Guess that would explain the funky handling then.

I blame winter, this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t winter!

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