I felt less than stellar for today’s lesson – couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Problem focusing on the task in hand and when I was analyzing it with the instructor prior to flying I said I would NOT fly if I was flying myself today. I WOULD fly if he was along as safety pilot (which he is anyway!). He could expect me to be very procedural and on checklist today.

Out we went to preflight. Two Civil Air Patrol Cessna’s were out looking important and taking up all of the ramp where we normally squeeze in five. I taxied over to the runup ramp so we didn’t blow their neat uniforms out of place. I was being exceptionally diligent to my checklists to help focus and by the time I was runup was pretty much back in the groove. Long taxi down to runway 5. Sierra Alpha was ahead of us and was scooted out in front of a SouthWest 737 on 6 mile final. As I passed the M1 intersection I was asked if I was ready. I just knew the controller was going to offer me an intersection departure in front of the landing jet – so I declined before he offered it and said I would let the jet in first. Another 737 snuck up behind me on the taxiway. The jet landed and cleared the runway. I was cleared to take off and we set off for the Newport Training area.

Then a morning of dodging other training aircraft while demonstrating slow flight, turns in slow flight, under the hood for recovery from unusual attitudes, stalling, practice emergency engine out and fire over the beach with some fun slipping down to make the beach and some steep turns. A distraction asking for which radial we were on while making the slow turn. I asked if Greg was trying to distract me – he told me to decide – so I said he was trying – and then dialed the radial on the VOR while slow flying the circle anyway. It was a practice checkride. Most of the day was to PTS EXCEPT for steep turns – they were close and nearly steep but not quite steep enough. But I knew that – I need more practice at them. Then I was asked to land somewhere. Newport was the obvious, close candidate – but “meat missiles” – aka parachute jumpers were falling out the sky all around Newport so I went to New Bedford. A real nice cross wind landing and in to park and take a break. A tiny kid was at the fence watching planes. We were the only plane doing anything so I announced I was going to park close to the fence so the instructor didn’t freak as I did. The little kid loved it. We went into the FBO for a break. The school guys there started to shop talk with my instructor. We got the weather.

Then out for some landings. But refocusing was going to be hard so I decided we would go back to Providence to do the landings – then if I got tired – it would be easy to stop. Off we went. My instructor kept going “check check” in my ears and I kept telling him I could hear him fine. He couldn’t hear me – his headphones had gone down. He turned on the cockpit speaker – a lousy alternative. We flew on and he clearly said to me – “you have the radios” – like I didn’t anyway – but he was telling me to make sure he knew what was going on. We got vectored for a “1 mile short final please and make best speed – you are number one ahead of a regional jet on 10 mile final”. We normally won’t accept that short a landing clearance and will ask to go around – but Greg was happier with that than carrying on without headphones. I bored on and the regional started getting twitchy with the controller. He reported a Cessna in front of him. The controller soothed him with the fact that I would be exiting the runway as fast as practical and I acknowledged that I “got it”. I got a REAL nice landing and we scooted down the runway to taxiway Charlie. The regional was somewhere right on our tail and must have been within an ace of going around as we got off. We stopped to clean up and took a moment. The regional appeared beside us on the runway as we were cleared to taxi “Charlie, Mike, Bravo to the ramp, cross runway 34. Stay with me”. The regional was cleared “Charlie after the Cessna clears then Mike, Bravo, November to the ramp cross runway 34.” The regional wasn’t familiar with the airport and asked for progressive taxi. I laughed when he got told “Follow the Cessna till you turn left at November – Three Sierra Papa (me) please stop just after you cross November for a moment so the regional can see where to turn left”.

We parked and fiddled with Greg’s headphones, tested them in another aircraft and confirmed it was his headphones had gone bad. Time was up.

I asked how Greg thought my flying had gone as I had felt unsettled before starting. He said it was as good as usual except for the steep turns. Back on Tuesday for more steep turns. I commented that if that was all we did for the whole lesson I would be happy with it. Greg smiled and said he was pretty sure that he would throw up before I ever do. Tuesday – we will see!

Comments are closed.

Search
Bookmarks