So much seems to have clicked into place recently. Let’s take my speciality take offs as an example. I found these tricky for a long time and for many reasons.
Part of the problem I’ve blogged about before about how I couldn’t “feel” what the plane was doing. I’m still working on that but it seems to be getting easier.
The other problem was just remembering which technique went with which take off. Some need a static start; some require you to keep the plane in ground effect. All need 10 degrees of flaps. The techniques would get mixed up in my head and I’d flounder for the right one.
Recently though, the penny seems to have dropped. I have a clarity of understanding because I’m not trying to memorise the technique, I’m trying to think through what it is I need to achieve and the consequences of each action .
Soft field? OK well I need to keep the weight off the nosewheel, so control column back and keep off the brakes. No static start because you don't want to stop on the grass.
What will happen next then? Well the nose is going to come up very early but I won’t have enough speed to climb safely. Ground effect it is then.
Transition to a safe climb speed and retract the flaps at approx. 300 ft AGL.
Understanding why I’m doing stuff finally seems to have made it stick. I noticed something similar when doing precautionary landings. Something I used to stress about because I couldn’t remember the sequence of events.
So I stopped trying. I just walked through what it was I was trying to achieve and did it. Very little stress involved (until I forgot that I actually still have power and got a little too low on my approach, oops!)
I don’t know why but in the last couple of lessons, everything has started to click into place, everything coming together so quickly. I know that it hasn’t just happened, that I’ve been working towards this for oh so long now, but it just feels so different now.
Cautiously optimistic that I might manage this after all.