A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Flying on my own

April 22, 2012
Emilie Phillips

Now that I have my license, I am the primary person in charge of my continuing education. As such, my first goal is to fly at least once a week and preferably twice. I need to keep working on airplane handling, radio work, conditions analysis, and general judgement and experience.


My plan for this past week was to do one flight during the week concentrating on takeoffs and landings and on the weekend fly myself over to the sea coast for a tailwheel refresher lesson in the Cub.


Thursday the weather was nice, so I came home early to fly. The forecast was for a bit of tailwind, though not unreasonable for the airplane with just me in it. The wind socks at Brookline showed calm, however, when I got above the trees, I felt a wind shear layer, so we probably were just sheltered.


I headed south to a nearby unontrolled airport with reasonable length runways. I wanted to practice varying my landing technique and seeing what it produced. That requires a lot more runway than Brookline. The first few, I tried coming in higher or lower than normal. I did manage a number of different glide paths, but it was a bit more random that I would have liked. I don’t seem to have a good grasp on downwind whether I am higher or lower than normal. So that’s something to work on.


Another thing I noticed, is that I generally try to chase a speed and touch down point. These would be imperitive being based on a short runway. Next time, I would like to see what I can do for holding a steadier attitude and decent rate. While I am working on that, I expect I will use more runway, but I expect overall it will mean better technique.


Then I headed back home. On the way I did some stalls. The power off stalls were fine. For the power on stalls, I figured out I was consistently not keeping enough right rudder at the break. The nose was slidding left and down. So then I added too much right rudder and the nose slid right and down. Obviously an area for more work.


A little bit of slow flight and then I landed.


There were a few other airplanes flying in and out of the larger airport, especially when I first got there. The pilots when I first got there were being very verbose on the radio. And one airplane behind me even had to expand their traffic pattern to not overtake me because they were a faster plane. But it cleared up quickly so I got to do my touch and goes in peace.