In Lesson 8, B got to ride along. I am not sure if he was nervous or not, but he tried distracting me several times during the preflight. He has less patience when I delay my answers. So when we got started taxiing, B noticed that the baggage door was open. Well, that happened because I reached in there to hand him a pillow, but got distracted with reaching around through the main door. So we stopped and closed the baggage door and continued with the flight.
Conditions were drizzly with a high enough ceiling, but only 4 miles visibility — barely above VFR minimums and a good opportunity to see what bad weather looks like. We got to take off from runway 9 for the first time and we noticed that the colour of the water and the colour of the sky were the same. That is, you couldn’t tell which way was up just by looking at the eastern horizon. T noted that that was the reason John Kennedy junior augered in. So it’s important to trust your instruments.
During the climbout T simulated some instrument failures and I got some practice flying without an airspeed indicator and then without an artificial horizon or directional gyro. We flew North towards Appleton and found a road that ran North and South and practiced S-turns. During this whole time, B was chattering non-stop. After 3 or four iterations, we practiced one turn about a point (a barn in this case) and then headed back to Oshkosh. On the way back we flew over our home and then landed on runway 9 where, with the exception of a departure from the runway center line, I was able to handle the landing on my own, with instruction from T throughout.
Even though I was reading each item aloud, I missed a key item on the shutdown checklist. I forgot to turn the ignition off and remove the key. This was another good reminder that you cannot allow yourself to be distracted, no matter what. As the saying goes, “Aviate, navigate, and communicate — in that order.” That is good advice for a motorist too.