Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lesson 7 - Too much like work

Got a good lesson in how turbulence and affects the airplane. After a full cross-wind takeoff, I got bounced around like ice in a shaker for an hour. Low ceilings limited what we could accomplish. We stayed close to the airport and did "S-Turns" across highway 15. For the life of me I could get nothing right. If my turns were OK my altitude control was way off. I never once felt like I had the airplane truly trimmed for level flight. Thermals and turbulence kept me bouncing around. Once I smacked the side of my head against the window frame pretty good. At one point my altitude was off by over 500 feet. Ugh.

We switched to some basic VOR navigation which I did somewhat better at. Found our way back to the airport by following the 120 LIBerty radial and attempted an approach to landing again in a full 10 kt crosswind. Betsy took over on final and demonstrated the wing low technique. She rushed the landing too as our time was up and she had places to be. All in all I felt rushed through the whole lesson. Just as I was starting to understand a technique we were on to the next thing.

Then while tying down the ship I somehow managed to crack my skull into the pitot tube. OW! Seeing stars, and with a pounding a headache I left the ramp with the distinct thought that this flying thing had suddenly turned into something that resembled hard work way too much. It was a decidedly un-fun day. During debrief I let Betsy know that I felt like I was behind the lesson the whole time and really just wanted to take a break from learning new things. I need a review lesson to make sure I really have the basics down and regain my confidence. She let me know that we could certainly do that, but that maybe I was being too hard on myself. She said she'd struggle to maintain altitude with what the wind was doing. I dunno... I felt pretty clueless out there today.

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