OK, not an awful lesson. In fact not a bad one. But a really great one for reminding me of the dangers of complacency, and also with a salutary lesson about coming to a full stop on runways.
We’d wanted to get a 2nd lesson on stalls in today, but weather just too marginal, so as with this morning we stayed in the circuit, in which I’ve now clocked up 10 hours! In preparation for my pre-solo checkride with a more senior instructor (scheduled for tomorrow), John threw in a series of simulated engine failures as he knows the instructor tomorrow will want me to handle these.
Apart from the first simulation – which was an engine failure on late downwind and on which I failed to immediately initiate a glide approach to the runway – the engine failure stuff was all good. A couple of simulated engine failures on climb-out and on crosswind went well. Despite failing to initiate the glide on the first time around, we did 2 glide approaches to the runway and I handled these pretty well. Oddly enough, my best landings seem to happen when I’m gliding the aircraft in!
The other stuff was OK, although the last 2 landings very damn scratchy indeed. On the 2nd last landing I approached too fast and too high, resulting in me landing skewed on the runway and requiring immediate work on the pedals from my instructor to control the nosewheel properly. For some reason I’d been reluctant to immediately correct my direction on the runway using the pedals, thinking I might somehow damage the nosewheel assembly? Not sure. Anyway, instructor simply asked me where my feet had been – they should have been on the pedals from the get-go, firmly correcting the direction of the aircraft.
If you land with your nose not properly aligned with the runway direction, use your feet and pedals immediately to correct the aircraft’s direction and get it back in alignment with the runway centre line.
And the last landing was pretty ordinary as well. I forgot my learning from Day 11 Lesson 13 about not letting the airspeed go too low on finals. So I applied heaps of power on late final, managed not to balloon too much but took ages to get down on the ground, and in my haste to exit the runway I braked too hard and nearly lost control of the aircraft! Instructor intervention again required. I think I was still smarting from the crap previous landing plus the one I’d just done and let the pressure get the better of me. What would have been far better would have been to ease off and use the next left exit off the runway. I had plenty of runway remaining, I still had a fair bit of speed and would have reached the exit quickly enough to avoid disrupting any traffic behind me.
On landing roll, avoid applying brakes so heavily that you risk locking them up and losing control of your aircraft. If you can’t safely turn for an earlier runway exit, take the next one down. You’re on the runway, you’ve got right of way, so don’t be in such a hurry that you take risks. Don’t dawdle, but by the same token, don’t let haste make things unsafe.
Apart from the above John was pretty complimentary about the lesson. I just don’t want to repeat the above ever, let alone in my pre-solo checkride tomorrow (weather permitting).
Ah well. It’s all good learning.