Flight 11: Back to the 150

Whoever had the 152 today didn’t bring it back on time, so rather than wait we took a 150. That reminded me why we’ve stuck with the 152- the 150 just doesn’t have the power, and having nearly full fuel tanks didn’t help. The first three landings at Plant City (PCM) were just right; the wheels just touched the ground smoothly as if we had rolled down a ramp onto the runway instead of landing on it. The rest of my landings ranged from OK to passable, no really bad ones.

I’m told it’s not unusual for the first few landings of the day to be the best ones- maybe doing a good one first makes a student a little overconfident. I certainly didn’t think I was the new Chuck Yeager at that point; I was wondering what went right and how to repeat it, feeling more lucky than skilled. There was a crosswind, so I still had the question mark shaped approach a few times. (I’ve found that if I make the final turn “early”, it turns out about right.)

I also did two landings with different power settings- one with the power on and one with the entire descent on idle, to simulate an engine out condition. (Usually I reduce the power at the beginning of the descent, then gradually to idle when we get close to the runway.) When we left Plant City, visibility was high enough that I could see downtown St. Petersburg and the Gulf of Mexico beyond it.

I’m getting better at announcing the legs of the pattern on the radio without being prompted. I think this was the first day I’ve used the radio with the plane under my control. Until now, I only announced takeoffs and my CFI’s turns, and he did the rest of the radio work. I was pleased to find our home airport on the return since it was starting to get dark. The rotating beacon is a big help!

Today: 1.2 hours
Total: 12.9 hours

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