For the last week my logbook says 5 flights, 2 hours 17 minutes in the air (3 h 19 min block) and 24 landings. We had a few exams and some of the days were cut short in terms of flying. A flat tire on Friday cut my flights into one instead of the planned two.
It was a four-day week after Easter. We started the week on Tuesday morning with a few Communications lessons. They were followed by a written as well as an oral exam on radio phraseology on Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning we had an exam on Cessna 152’s checklists. Basically we had to memorize them all, the by-heart items as well as the others. It went well though, reading them daily during flight training of course helps. This schedule (and the flat tire) meant that we couldn’t fit two flights into every day of this week. But we are all progressing nicely and our first solos are just around the corner.
All the school flights last week were in the traffic circuit for me. When we fly the traffic circuit we fly a few laps and do a touch-and-go landing on every lap except for the last landing of course. So whatever landing or whatnot we are practising, we just touch and go again to the circuit until it’s time to stop. I did a short field take-off and landing, go-arounds, landed with a simulated airspeed indicator malfunction (the teacher put a post-it on it), got to practise a cross-wind landing, did a sideslip approach and also four spot landings. Those were fun!
In a spot landing we climb to 1000 ft instead of the normal Malmi traffic circuit altitude of 600 ft. When abeam the planned touchdown spot in the downwind, you pull the throttle to idle and land without power. We use flaps like we would during a normal approach and landing, and of course you can adjust the glide with different flap configurations. The point of practising spot landings is to learn to land without power in case of an engine failure. Spot landings were pretty fun and there’s going to be more of them this week.
I mentioned before I like a little action in the air and apart from the spot landings, doing the sideslip approach offered this to me. In a sideslip you fly with crossed controls, e.g. full right rudder and left aileron. The airplane maintains its’ track but changes its’ heading, i.e. it is sideways in relation to the runway. Right before landing you straighten the airplane. The aim of this practise was to learn to land in case of a flaps malfunction. Sideslipping lets you approach with a slow speed in a steep angle without flaps, which normally aid this. Sideslipping is also a good way to lose altitude fast. I found a cool video about sideslipping. See for yourself!
I also found a nice video of Malmi runway 36 traffic circuit, shot with a GoPro (which I want too!). The video gives an excellent view of what I see flying the circuit. They even start taxiing from the same spot I do. Watch and have a peek into my world!