It was a nice flight with E. She enjoyed herself and was reasonably impressed with the fact that she was airborne.
We chatted a while, laughing at how my flying but not driving has really skewed my perception of how long it actually takes to go somewhere. Oshawa is an hours drive but probably no more than a twenty minute flight away for example.
In one way this flight shows just how much I’ve developed as a pilot. The planning easy, confident that I can easily find my way visually, able to do the quick mental math to decide that 22 gallons was more than enough fuel with an adequate reserve for our short hop. I had spare mental capacity to devote attention to chatting and enjoying the view.
And then in other ways it shows how quickly some skills deteriorate.
Even my prestart cockpit management was a little off, normally a relatively slick collection of getting the appropriate stuff out of my bag, shoving cable sin the correct holes and generally being organised. This time I ended up forgetting stuff that I needed and having to reach round in a semi arm breaking manner to grab stuff out the back. None of this leaves a good impression on your passenger.
My preflight checks just didn’t seem to flow as well as they should. I was almost hunting for the right switches on occasion. My eyes didn’t flow to the correct places automatically as they once did.
That’s not the worst of it though, no we’ll leave that for last.
The landing was dire.
Okay by S’s standards it was excellent, in that the plane could indeed be flown again but by even my lowly standards it wasn’t great.
Too high, too flat, too sideways and not enough centreline would be a fair assessment in my opinion.
Too high because the 08 knot wind was 100% crosswind with no head wind to help out the descent, too sideways because I didn’t compensate enough for the drift, too flat because I was too busy trying to wrestle it back onto the runway, ditto for the centreline.
It wasn’t dangerous, just sloppy. A go around may well have been in order.
I know I can do better, I want to do better, which now leaves me in the position of us having some great flying weather where all I want to do is make a nice long booking and go somewhere but what I really need to do is book an hour of circuit pounding in some sporty crosswinds.
<even bigger sigh>