Monday, 18 August 2014

In a flap

An obstacle takeoff is the speciality take off of choice for this lesson. I tend to just rotate through the speciality takeoffs now as I don’t appear to have any more difficulty with one over another. Takeoffs, in general, are a lot easier than landings. Fundamentally planes want to fly and need very little encouragement to takeoff but occasionally have to be coaxed down from their airborne state.

Today’s takeoff started really well, I’d got it all straight in my mind: 10 degrees of flap, static start, slightly early rotation and then best angle of climb.

I do exactly that, then call “obstacle clear” before transitioning to best rate of climb. Breathing a quick sigh of relief that it went so well, I nudge us back onto the extended centreline. I’m a hairs breadth off because the nose up attitude means I lose sight of the runway for a brief while.

Bob nods his approval “nicely done!”

I turn my attention to the rest of the flight. I know ATC have restricted me to “not above 2000ft” but there was nothing about north or south of the stacks so I turn crosswind for a normal circuit type exit from the airport.

I keep an eye on my airspeed trying to maintain that coveted best rate. SAR is climbing like the asthmatic pigeon I’ve come to expect in the summer except that it really isn’t that hot out. The sweaty mess I am has more to do with the upcoming stalls than the lack of aircon.

ATC are in my ear “SAR, Direct NE corner of the harbour cleared to 2500ft. No delay to 2000”
I acknowledge their instructions, biting back a retort that I’m flying a Cessna in August not an F16 but a small part of my mind concedes that they may have a point, we really are limping through the altitudes here.
Bob chimes in helpfully “are we forgetting something?”

“AH SH!T!!!!!!!!!!!”

My hand immediately goes to the flap lever, staring back accusingly at me. Still set at 10 degrees! No wonder she feels draggy!

Add another thing to WMAP’s “I-can’t-believe-I-bloody-did-that” repertoire and add another thing to the list of mistakes that Bob has let me take far enough to be sure that I’ll NEVER EVER make them again.

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