Today started off pretty well. My instructor said she would be watching closely today and if she is confident, my next flight I would Solo! Well not exactly what you think, Solo Weather Brief and Preflight inspection. She listened in on the weather briefing and was pleased so out to the airplane for the preflight. She watched carefully as I went through my checklist making sure the bird was airworthy. All green, and we had 3 Aces…. Weather good, Pilot good, aircraft good.
I go through the normal procedures for starting and run up, get the AWOS that indicates a runway 21 departure, call out our taxi and away we go to setup for takeoff on runway 21. We listen to the CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) for any incoming traffic for landing or into the pattern. About halfway to runway 21 we pick up that a Citation is 10 miles out on a long final for runway 21. I ask my instructor if she sees him and she says “Negative, but he’s moving so fast he’ll be here shortly” At that point she radios the Citation asking for a pirep on turbulence since some was noted during the weather brief. The Citation indicated that it was relatively smooth today. At about 5 miles out I could see his landing lights and as we taxi’d up to the hold short line, the Citation crossed the apron for a smooth touchdown.
As the Citation taxi’d off of the runway I made the radio call “Raleigh Exec Cessna 4640B departing runway 21 for the west practice area… Raleigh Exec”. I almost sounded like I know what I’m doing. As with most students talking on the radio doesn’t come naturally so I am being introduced slowly to the concept.
We depart runway 21 and climb to the west to an altitude of 3000. We made the radio call to alert traffic where we would be practicing and I lined up on a road for our first maneuvers. We started with some clearing turns, 20 degrees to clear then some 30 degree 180’s in both directions. Next we practices slowing to 70, descending at cruise and 70. Then she had me add flaps and slow down to 55 and stabilize. At this point I made shallow turns as if I was in the pattern or landing. We practiced going from slow flight to cruise and back. After getting comfortable, we entered slow flight and then my instructor told me to pull the throttle to idle and don’t let us sink. I realized what we were doing, my first stall. As we approached the stall, the controls got really heavy and I had to use rudder to keep the airplane coordinated. Then I felt some buffeting and a faint sound of the stall horn. At this point she commanded to drop the nose and full throttle and try to keep from losing altitude. We didn’t quite enter a stall, it was called an “Imminent Stall”. The idea here was to get me acquainted with what the controls feel like as we approach a stall.
Next we did a few more ground reference maneuvers, more turns around a rectangle. This time I did quite well all the way around. After 3 or 4 turns around the pattern we returned to the airfield and landed. Overall a great lesson, and a lot of fun.