Lesson 2 was about basic maneuvers (climb, turn, cruise, and descend) and power/pitch combinations.  Pitch Attitude + Power = Desired Performance.

I arrived early to the lesson and preflighted the ship on my own.  When T arrived, he quizzed me on information from lesson 1 and my reading assignments, including the C-172S Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH).

After the pre-startup checklist, T allowed me to request clearance from the tower and then taxi to runway 27.  He pointed out that a sign of excellence is taxiing on the yellow line, and not to the side of it.  I shall have to work on that.  Talking to the tower is intimidating at first because you don’t want to misspeak, although I would bet the controllers are more forgiving with students than you would at first think.  But I don’t know.  At any rate, I rehearsed the first call thrice with T and it went just fine.  I hesitated on the acknowledgment of the takeoff clearance because there was a bunch of stuff after the clearance that I didn’t catch.  But again, it went fine.

T had me take off too.  That’s relatively easy.  “It’s like a fast taxi.”

Since I had just come from Rush Lake and a family gathering, we departed West again and headed for Rush Lake where we practiced coordinated turns, demonstrated skidding and slipping turns, and then practiced coordinated turns some more.  So we flew over Rush Lake from all four points of the compass.

We demonstrated five basic pitch and power combinations and the kinds of climbs, descents, and cruises they will produce:

  • Climb
  • Cruise
  • Cruise Descent
  • Approach to Land Flaps Up
  • Approach to Land Flaps Down

In lesson 1, T told me when to begin each step in leveling off to hit an altitude or when to begin rolling out of a turn.  This time, he just told me the steps and then which altitude to level off at or which direction to turn to and allowed me to learn by trial and error when to begin each of the steps to level off or roll out.  T has continued to suggest reading material and provide documentation about these things.   One of the documents is the aircraft checklist.  I appreciate this checklist because it is quite thorough, but it does take a novice quite a while to get through it.

Before this lesson I was ready to go flying for hours, but T was right; after an hour, I was physically tired from focusing and learning and taking in all of the stimuli.  Like any skill, though, endurance and ease will come with experience.  This is what I call fun.