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Month: September 2008

Lesson 6 – Stalls

In lesson six, we covered stalls.  This time, T expected me to be able to handle everything from take off through climb-out and level-off and that all went pretty well.  I even got a hold short instruction and handled it properly.  Reading back instructions is becoming natural.  The tower gave us runway 27, even though the wind was from 190@10 knots so I got to learn about crosswind takeoffs.  That went well too.  Notwithstanding, I still need lots of practice on everything.

One thing I’m struggling with is scanning for other airplanes.  In some cases, I have spotted other airplanes very far off, sometimes far enough off that T can’t even see them until they are much closer.  In other cases, though, I feel like I am glancing around the horizon without seeing anything.  In one lesson, we were surprised by an airplane.  She was not close enough to require any evasive action, but the surprise is not a good feeling.  It is a reminder to be vigilant.

T demonstrated a power off stall and then we practiced one together.  By the second stall, I was no longer getting the stomach in your throat sensation and by the third or fourth stall, I was responding quickly and properly to the stall.  We proceeded with power off turning stalls.  We talked about the reasons for practicing stalls: proficiency and confidence, but most importantly the ability to land by stalling the aircraft just inches above the ground.

T allowed me to call the tower to announce that we were inbound and then to report our entry into the traffic pattern, “Oshkosh tower, seven zero gulf reporting two mile right base for runway one eight.”

“Seven zero gulf, you are cleared to land.”

“Seven zero gulf, cleared to land.”

Again, T extended my control on the landing, this time all the way through the landing with bits of assistance and instruction.

On the way home I stopped at Cousin’s to buy a sandwich for C and myself.  You know you’ve just got done flying when the cashier at Cousin’s hands you your receipt and says, “Here’s your receipt, and your order number is two-eighteen,” and you read the order number back to her, “two-eighteen, thank you.”

Lesson 5 – Ground Reference Maneuvers

For Lesson 5, G got to ride along.  He really enjoyed the flight.  Kids are so amazed by everything, and of course the cars in the Target parking lot looked like “toy cars.”

I was able to do everything on my own, from pre-flight through climb-out, without assistance or correction or reminder.  That felt good.  It means that the practice and studying are paying off.  After practicing some more turns at minimum controllable airspeed — with and without flaps — we flew down to Fond Du Lac.  Along the way, we practiced correcting for wind by maintaining a course along a road, finding the correct crab angle by trial and error.  At Fond Du Lac, we flew into the traffic pattern, flew a low approach, and departed thence to Oshkosh.  With each flight, I seems am able to handle a little more of the landing.  This time, I was more or less in control (with T’s assistance) up till flare, but I tried to flare way too early so T made the necessary corrections for a smooth landing.

Delirious? Marxist?

I enjoy listening to the band Delirious.  I cannot say I celebrate their entire catalogue, but I have enjoyed most of their music.  I have been particularly encouraged by their Mission Bell album, which is an encouragement to the Church that she will accomplish her mission for Christ.   Well, it was about the same time that I bought that record that I became aware of Liberation Theology and what it is — that is, Marxism cloaked in Christianity.  So it was with particular interest that I listened to a single line on that record, “…and fight for the hungry who paid for our lives.”  By itself, that line might not register, but after you think about it a little, that line fits into the Marxist puzzle a little too easily.

You could write it off as accidental or just one line or poor writing or whatever, and that would be fine, but yesterday I picked up Delirious’ next record, Kingdom of Comfort, and discovered this gem, “…and I’ll pay the price because my gain is someone else’s loss.”  Well, there you have it folks — clear Marxism in a Delirious song.  What can I do except write about it?  So let us examine the matter, because every now and then we encounter this confusion between Christianity and Marxism/Communism and every now and then someone has to clear it up.

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Coca-Cola – Live Positively

I saw it again today on my bottle of Diet Coke.  The same folks who brought you “Coke Is It!” “The Real Thing!” and “The Pause That Refreshes!” now bring you this winner — “Live Positively.”  Yup, it just falls down flat on its face.  And would you believe they have trademarked it too?!  Honestly, has someone checked to see whether the people at Pepsi-Cola have successfully sabotaged the latest Coca-Cola tag line?

live positively

Lesson 4 – Turns and More

During Lesson 4 I handled all of the radio work.  I did a fair job at it.  When you’re hard down on scanning the outside world and maintaining altitude and airspeed, you need some practice at taking it all in without having to think about it; proficiency will come with familiarity and familiarity with practice.

We demonstrated clearing turns, worked on banking directly into a 45 degree turn.  After a little practice, we flew down to Princeton and found Red’s Marsh Farm.  It’s easy enough to spot from the air because of the snake-shaped canal.  Heading back to Wittman, T had me call the tower to announce our position and the tower instructed us to enter left downwind for runway 9 and call back at midfield, but he gave us clearance to land before we asked, so of course I missed it till T pointed it out to me.  Then I had to reach back and remember what he said so I could read back the clearance.  T instructed me on the turn to base and then to final and again had me follow along below about 200′ AGL.  That maneuver is getting more comfortable, but I would like a lot more practice at it.  Actually, I am getting comfortable enough with everything that I can now see where I need more practice.  I still need practice on everything, but the practice isn’t as taxing as before, in fact it’s more fun, so I can’t wait for the next chance.

SAP or Sap?

I have been helping out on a project to bring my client up to speed on SAP software.  The name of the software is generally pronounced ess-ay-pee, but there is a lady on the team who keeps calling it sap (as in tree sap).  I love it, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to follow suit.  Stay tuned for further developments.

Lesson 3 – Turns

During lesson 3, we reviewed various items learned in lesson 2 like takeoff, climb, and descent.  The focus of the lesson, however, was turns.  We practiced turns at 10, 20, 30, and 45 degree banks.  45 degrees is more bank than you would ever use in normal flight, but it is a good proficiency maneuver and it is required that a pilot can perform them with accuracy and maintain altitude.  It was a hot day at 85 degrees so the air was a bit rough and after literally turning in circles for 25 minutes and not having any water on board, one gets a little queasy.  But the flight was enjoyable.  I had a little trouble with remembering to increase back pressure in the steeper banks and forgot to level off at 3200′ after climbout, but gained confidence and proficiency.  I was able to make all of the radio calls this time and T allowed me — with very close guidance — to fly the airplane down to probably 200′ above the runway for the landing.

I have become excited not only about the prospect of flying, but about the challenge that learning this skill is presenting to my brain.  I had forgotten what it is like to learn something so new.  Learning to drive a car was not a fraction of this challenge and I do not believe I have ever in my life poured myself so heartily into learning something new.

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