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Alexander Gurr
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Well, this evening I had my 4th hour of flying with instructor Juan, where we built on the straight and level we had done in the previous 2 lessons to include climbing and descending.....which isnt as easy as it sounds. My head is spinning with everything that has to be learnt, but it is a highly enjoyable and rewarding challenge, even when I have only started to scratch the surface of all that has to be learnt! For all those thinking about it....just give it a go
Grubbster
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I'm up to 11.5 hours now and doing circuits. Struggling a bit to be honest, finding it a little stressful trying to remember and do everything correctly. I sometimes wonder if I should carry on, I really like the flying bits but there is so much to take in that I feel I'll never be able to do it all I had a quite hard landing last week which knocked my confidence a bit so we flew over to the Isle of Wight for a coffee break then practiced circuits there for a while (grass runway so softer) then returned to Lee and did a perfect landing so ended the lesson on a high Just an hours lesson tomorrow (weather permitting) so hopefully time for a few decent circuits and I'll feel better about it all again.
Mike C.
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It's all part of the learning process, and very soon the penny will drop. These days I mainly fly helicopters, but I well recall my ab initio fixed wing training - some 25 years ago. Without wishing to tread on your instructor's toes, here's a few hints: - A good landing follows a good approach - So, get the approach attitude right, speed correct, flaps selected - You should be descending nicely towards the threshold, feeling relaxed - As you pass over the threshold close the throttle - At about the height of a double decker bus, ease back on the stick and try to fly straight and level with the ground - As the aircraft loses height, ease back on the stick to try to maintain level flight at that height (but don't climb - that's called 'ballooning') - This should all happen very slowly - as the a/c descends you ease the stick further back (almost on your lap), and the main wheels will eventually kiss the runway - Hold it there and the nose wheel will eventually drop onto the runway (don't push the stick forward) - Once down you either stablilise the a/c for a full stop, or prepare for a go around Once perfected never forgotten. Keep it up, you'll soon be there. Edited by - Mike C. on 1 Aug 2014 21:57:10
Grubbster
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Thanks Mike - yes, he said I was good at ballooning last week What was happening was I'd be about right, above the runway and he'd say pull back a bit, bit more, bit more, BIT MORE, TOO MUCH!!! BANG\" class=\"smiley\" /> There is so little feel at this speed I'm find it hard to judge, my best landing was when he didn't say too much and let me get on with it
Alexander Gurr
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Sounds like you are making great progress Steve. How long did it take before you were doing takeoff and landings? Feels as though I am miles away from that at the moment!
Mcalvert
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"Ease back on the stock at about the height of a double decker bus" Mike? Nah, the CFI at my gliding club swears that it's at "the height of an elephant on a skateboard". No idea why, but it's a great mental image... Michael.

Michael Calvert

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Mike C.
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I think the 'mental image', whatever it might be, is to help the student understand that they are not trying to fly the a/c onto the runway, but to actually aim about 20 ft above the runway, before commencing a progressive flare, to arrest the forward speed, and allow the a/c to gently settle on the main undercarriage. If you pull back too fast, the a/c will gain height but lose speed, causing the 'balloon' effect. A dab of throttle will correct this. It really just comes with practice, so the quieter the day, with a nice breeze straight down the runway, the better - for getting in the max no of circuits.
Grubbster
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Alex, I think I was first taking off at about the point you are at, 4 or 5 hours and did some 'assisted landing' soon after. I wasn't briefed on them at this stage it was just opportunistic I think so sometimes at the end of the lesson I'd get it all lined up to land and the instructor would intervene as late as he dared Circuits were due to start after 9 hours but I pushed it back an hour so I could go and do some general flying about and recap things done before. Weather still not looking great for todays lesson, looking at the club webcam I think one plane must be up so I might be OK.
Grubbster
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Didn't fly today due to poor weather, so did some ground school instead. Considering doing this course to get all the exams done in one week, cheaper than doing them individually and gets them out of the way.
fatcat
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done 14 hours now in a gyro, sort of got the hang of general flying (just aircraft control, not nav, radio, etc) but like everyone else, the landings are a challenge. Not least as there are so many approach options ….come in at a shallow angle under power like a fixed wing …..pick an initial descent point at circuit height, maybe half a km out, kill the power and glide in….come in at circuit height over the start of the runway, descend vertically then stick the nose down at 300' to get a little airspeed before flaring in for touchdown. Take-offs have their own challenges too but I won't bore you with that now !