Steven’s PPL Diary 9: Stalls

steven9

Day 8 – The bright lights of Coventry Airport
Falling out of the sky (Also known as stalling).

[Exercise: 10]

This week, not dejected (yet) by my lack of fan mail, I head to the airport for another 9am flight.

profpilot's audience. Popular in North Korea.

profpilot's audience.


At home, it was rather foggy but heading to the airport it seemed to clear, the runway landing lights seemed bright today and I realised why when the runway came into ‘sight’ (note the use of inverted commas). Thick fog covered the airport so my flight was snuck in later on during the day due to a cancellation.

Another fine day in Coventry.

Another fine day in Coventry.

5 hours later, back at the airport, glorious sunshine a little broken cloud but nothing too serious. Briefing completed and still a little apprehensive about the stalling technique, I head out to the aircraft the ‘wrong one’ (again) and run through the checks, which are now becoming second nature with this aircraft too. Bit of fumbling around on my part as we approached the runway as I hadn’t put the brakes on fully during the power checks, sat and watched a slow touch and go and a go around of the aircraft behind it, before getting clearance to take off.

Climbing turn out and heading for a gap in the clouds up to 3,500 feet ‘HASELL’ checks and the instructor takes over, closes the throttle and pulls back, and then some more, and a little more, as the speed needle falls below 60… Buffeting and the stall light comes on (no horns in these aircraft).

Because nothing grabs the attention like a small, faint, red light to announce possible imminent death.

Because nothing announces possible impending death like a small, faint red light.

Nose drops, push forward, he mentions the wing bank, full power, pull back and it’s as if it hasn’t happened (Apart from me feeling mildly terrified). My attempt at the stall, to say it wasn’t as well executed as his would be a fair comment. I had a few more goes at stalling each a slight improvement on the last, and then the instructor demonstrated the lower stall speed of a flaps and power stall (he also did the recover). My go again, little more successful with these types of stall and recovery than last.

Heading back to the airport, he has me practice fast cruise, various turns, setting up for approach, descending turns, everything learnt (and poorly remembered) from previous flights. The circuit completed, landing configuration set, and on finals. I’m making a bit of a mess (okay, it was quite a lot of a mess) of it, and there’s a cross wind and waiting for late landing clearance the instructor takes control. He slows the aircraft down, adds another stage of flaps and puts her down beautifully not long after landing clearance is given.

"G-PY, cleared to land"

"G-PY, cleared to land"

Quite dejected that I’d made a bit of a mess of things I taxi back to the school (miles off the centreline, I’m really not ‘on the ball’ today), shutdown and head inside for the debrief and logbook filling.

Total hours: 7:35.

Next week – No flight booked. I’m meeting friends in London. (They’re not imaginary, honest!)
Next time flying – Back to circuits.

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