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XXX Flight: 2012-0124-1 in N12556 (Penny) for $
KCNI - KCNI (flying time 1:10)
Flight Notes:
Off with Tom Decker of Superior for a refresher flight. Woo hoo! Can't wait to get in the air again. (David Thorburn-Gundlach)

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From KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2012-01-24 19:19:34 to KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2012-01-24 20:29:39 [01:10:00] with 2 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) / Tom Decker (instructor) /
Leg Notes:
Started off with a turn around the pattern. Man, Penny is fast! I was at pattern altitude half way through crosswind; by the time I got things even sort of trimmed out, I was half way along downwind. Then I got distracted on final adjusting the trim after wrestling with the yoke for most of the trip. Anyway, it was a good, solid, two-landing bouncing :-) but, hey, we used the plane again.
So then we were off to do some practice work. That actually went pretty well; stalls were clean, slow flight was clean, turns were good. We talked about turning gently with rudder only while in slow flight -- but then, just for fun, we did power-off turning stalls as well.
We also practiced Dutch Rolls, which aren't really those (CF Wikipedia) but instead just turn coordination exercises. Once I understood how they worked, it was easy; when Tom said "now just leave it in the turn" I found that I was perfectly coordinated. Cool!
We also talked about maneuvering speed. Yes, I know that Va for the lighter plane is SLOWER, but I noted that that just didn't feel right in my gut. Not only did he explain that it's simply a speed at which you'll stall the wing before tearing up the plane (which was helpful), but he showed the math explaining that doubling the angle of attack doubles the load -- and that you have more 'doubles' possible on a lightly-loaded plane, which will have a much lower angle of attack for starters, and thus get to the G limit sooner. Eureka! THAT made it all clear; somehow it had never clicked that it wasn't about straight weight but about Gs. I'm likin' being in school again :-)
After taking an extra turn around the tanks and landfill to get out of one guy on downwind as we first got there, it was in for a very nice landing; I am redeemed. We demonstrated the reducing speed and adding flaps (keeping the nose from coming up) and settling puts one just about right back on the same trim; that was nice. More importantly, although *I* still feel the places where I'm not fluid, he pronounced me generally a safe pilot and in particularly an OK person to fly with Laura for "just in case", which had been our concern. Yay.
(David Thorburn-Gundlach)