A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Citabria landings

May 14, 2012
Emilie Phillips

I made it out twice last week and then once Monday. The weather the rest of the week has not been conducive to flying. None of them were me going out solo, so I really need to go practice that more.

Middle of last week, the clouds were far too low for practicing more spins, so my flight instructor and I took the Citabria out to work on tailwheel takeoffs and landings. We did a very abbreviated pattern to get more landings in. I will say that one of the benefits of tandem (front-rear) seating is my instructor can't see the airspeed indicator through my head, so I don't have to worry about him correcting me for being slightly off. While that means I was not flying the airplane as precisely, the benefit that I did not feel like I had to chase the instruments which is one of my bad habits. Our funky, lollipop pattern was a little more free form too.

We did some three point (same attitude as my normal plane) landings, some of those with the instruments completely covered over. Then I upped the ante and started trying to do wheel landings. For these landings, the airplane lands in a much more horizontal attitude with just the main gear touching. Supposedly they are better for stopping quickly. For me, they are just practice widening the envelope of my skills. I found it really hard to break my standard landing sequence. I ended up having to have my instructor talk me through when to flare for a bunch of them. In the end, I got a few good ones.

Flying around our free form pattern was pretty fun. My instructor did think I was being more cautious of the terrain than I needed to be, but I suppose that's not the worst thing. Since I was having fun, I offered my instructor the last takeoff and landing of the day so he could have some fun too. In all, we did 18 landings. That's quite a lot for one session.

After all those landings, my instructor said I was ready to try flying Tyson's airplane. First, though, he and Tyson needed to go out and practice.