Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Complex and a New Instructor

"You're very good at quite a few things, unfortunately flying straight and level isn't one of them..." not so encouraging words from my new instructor, :-)

When I've thrown this quote back at her, she correctly points out that she was joking and that it's taken out of context... :-)

My 'old' instructor took some vacation time and, since I'm on a schedule, I carried on with a new one. She's very capable and as good a 'stick'; as myself which you often don't find in young instructors because they don't have the time or sometimes the interest - a lot of them are just looking to get an airline job. A few of them really have very little interest in general aviation which is a shame.

She is a very good pilot (owns part of her own taildragger) and is really fun to fly with. Also she's game - when I wanted to try a gusty 20kt X-wind landing she said "why not"... On short final I asked for help and she did a great job of it. The tower said 'nice job' so I let them think I did all the work, lol.

We did a couple flights in a retractable 172 so I could double up on some complex time for my commercial. It flies like a 172 with retractable gear (duh!) and also has cowl flaps and a controllable pitch prop like my 180 does. I was surprised that I had a little trouble configuring it correctly - I have become so accustomed to the prop and cowl flap control locations in my 180 that I automatically deal with them.... but in this plane, I found myself having to think what to do with the prop before I moved the throttle. And the cowl flap control is so different that I completely forgot about it.

Plus they do the "25 squared in the air" thing where they want you to pull the power back to 25 inches and prop back to 2500 RPM when you lift off. Neither this plane or mine have any time restriction on the use of full power, so I have always used it - I figure the engine's job is to get me as high as possible as fast as possible so I can do MY job which is to find a suitable spot to crash when it quits, lol. And it rubs me the wrong way to make any sort of power change that isn't completely necessary when you're in a vulnerable position.... like just broke ground. In fact, if I'm going high enough that I won't be able to pull 75% power (like 6000 or more), I'll just leave the throttle wide open until I descend for landing. But it's their plane, so "25 squared in the air" it is.

Regardless, it was GREAT fun to say "positive rate, gear up" :-)


  1. I Am Really Enjoying your blog Mr. Earl. It has Many Mystifying Plane Terms which should mystify "outsiders" {Non-Pilots} such as my self, but that doesn't detract from the interesting little stories that make it really shine.

    "…And the cowl flap control is so different that I completely forgot about it.…" Laugh Out Loud

    -=Best Regards=-

  2. Well, I'll be here all week and then at a venue near you Nov 25 :-)