Fun times, I had my third flight today. (Hot, 95 degrees out and the plane climbed like a dog.) I was scheduled to fly from 3-6pm but they asked if I could move to 12-3pm instead. Sure, why not fly during the hottest part of the day?
I had been listening to ATC (Air Traffic Control) at Burbank for a couple days on the liveatc.com website in the office so was feeling pretty comfortable in trying my hand at it. I contacted ground for taxi clearance and then tower for takeoff clearance. During the flight my CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) called out everything over the radio when we were in the practice area but had me contact the tower on the way back in to ask for the clearance to do touch and go’s.
In the practice area we went through power on stalls, power off stalls, and steep turns. Much better on the steep turns this time. Next I told him I wanted to work turns around a point and s-turns so we needed to get to a lower altitude. He said, “Let’s pretend you have an engine fire and go through those procedures” (ie: the quick way down…) I said “Ok, walk me through it.” So we pulled power, put it in a 45 degree bank and pushed over heading down. He was talking me through the whole thing, I picked out a section of field that I thought we would reach and was clear of trees, power lines, etc… He approved so I rolled out lined up and stayed in the descent. He been talking the whole time about how the fire would be progressing and tells me “About now you probably won’t be able to use your rudder pedals because if the fire hasn’t made it through the firewall the heat has and your feet are going to hurt so bad you won’t be able to use them.” (I thought “Great…”) We were getting close to the ground, I thought too close so started to pull back and he said “nope, not yet.” Finally he said “Ok, level out, add the power back and bring us back up.” He talked me through the whole thing again and the importance of getting on the ground as fast as possible.
We did turns around a point, better but still needs work, and s-turns, again better but needs work and headed back for some landing practice. Landings were much improved. We did two and then he requested and received clearance from the tower to do a short final. He said when we got even with the end of the runway on our downwind to pull power and I couldn’t use it again until we were on the ground. I said “Ok” (and in my mind said “Seriously?”) I went into a shallow bank and he had me head at an angle straight for the numbers, watch airspeed, straighten out and line up right at the end and touch down. Good experience. Flaps up, power back in, and up for one more time around the pattern. I put one notch of flaps in like normal at the end of the downwind but as we turned base to final he said “I want you to do this one without any flaps.” So, flaps back up and we came in faster than normal but it wasn’t bad, I just touched down further down the runway than normal but was still able to turn off onto the taxiway at the same place.