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Flight: 2013-0407-1 in N12556 (Penny) for $
KCNI - KCNI (flying time 0:19)
Time to grab a few in the pattern to stay fresh after Laura's practice -- but what a nightmare!
From KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2013-04-07 22:24:46 to KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2013-04-07 22:41:24 [00:19:00] with 2 day and 0 night landings.
David Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-R) / Laura Thorburn-Gundlach (copilot) /
OK, so I didn't bend the plane, and we'll fly again another day, and it was a good learning experience, and everything certainly *could* have been really nightmarish instead of, I must admit, just disappointing, but, ... still, what a fucking nightmare!
This just seemed to be one of those 'off' days (but that can't happen no matter what the excuse). I've recently flown with a bit of crosswind, and this wasn't anything too crazy, but the left breeze sure screwed me up today. The tailwind hurried me through my first base leg (or was I just slow and sluggish in my check before turning to final?), and none too coordinated, either, and elected to go around on upwind rather than try to crank around back to the runway.
I was better set the second time around and lined up with the runway well enough, but I was too low and so I had to walk her in, including running out of flare and dropping the last couple of feet. Definitely not my best landing :-(
Off we went one more time, and although we had both been paying attention to the radio we were rather surprised by a Mooney sliding across my bow as I was on crosswind about to turn to downwind; yikes! He may or may not have been broadcasting, because when I did hear him talk about being established on downwind he was very faint; I commented on that and he was suddenly much louder and clearer -- but what a scary surprise! So I extended my downwind a bit to follow him, and then I ended up too low again; grrr.
Worst, though, was that Laura noted in the post-flight debrief that once today and once the other day she clearly saw me use throttle for airspeed instead of pushing on the nose. It didn't help that she had been grilling me while in the air and that I was having trouble putting the right words together (which was a very unusual and unsettling feeling!) when she'd call out 'altitude!' and 'airspeed!'; I kept being able to push on the proper thing but not say the right word (AND I was saying 'throttle' and 'yoke' when she wanted 'power' and 'pitch', further muddling the mess). But I thought that I solidly knew that you push the knob to go up and push the steering to go faster! How could I be messing that up? Is it just a matter of having only 11h PIC-R vs 109h PIC-L, or have I somehow forgotten my lessons and Stick and Rudder and basic physics along the way? That is *very* disturbing.
We called it at two landings; Laura couldn't take any more. A good pilot may always be learning, but this sure was a sucky day.