Flight Lessons: flying slowly

Today’s flight was great. The weather was very clear and smooth, and traffic was light. I prepped the plane for take off, and did the checklist (with several pointers from my instructor).

Once the plane was checked out, I called ground control and got permission to taxi to the run-up area (again, with plenty of help from my instructor). I had trouble getting through the whole tail number, I think I need to practice saying it quickly and smoothly, and I forgot to include it in my read-backs a couple times.

I taxied to the run-up area (mostly on my own) and did the run-up check. I do it a little slowly because I’m really trying to understand why I’m doing each step. I should get a lot faster with time. Everything went well, so I called ground control once again and got permission to taxi to the runway. The tower owns the runway, so I had to talk to them, let them know what I wanted to do (take off and make a right turn at the shoreline), before I could actually do it.

I tried to control the plane as best I could as we were taking off, but the instructor handled the really fast part. Once we were in the air, I was back in control and flew the plane to the practice area over Simi Valley.

We practiced slow flying, and stalls (both power on and off). It was pretty easy really (I can say that because I was at 4500 ft.) The trick is keeping the plane nice and level side-to-side as you pull back harder and harder. Once it stalls, the nose drops automatically, so you really just need to level out and bring the power back (if you have any extra). I’m looking forward to more practice.

Our next flight should either be this weekend or early next week. We’ll be practicing ground reference maneuvers, and everything we’ve covered so far. It’s amazing how fast the time in the air goes. I’ll be broke before I know it.

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