It’s been a while since i’ve posted about my flying here, especially my commercial training.
Since checking out in the Mooney, I continued some of my commercial training but not in earnest. It was hard to get motivated because I really needed hours more than anything. I joined Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and got checked out as a mission pilot in Glass 172’s and 182’s. I built time volunteering to fly maintenance and Search and Rescue (SAR) training missions. It has been a lot of fun and I have made a lot of friends along the way.
About a year ago, I took and passed the Commercial written exam but just kind of plodded along building hours.
As the new year came, I decided since I have the hours, it’s time to knock this out. I have been training weekly with my awesome CFI and am quickly reaching checkride form.
The Now times
For the last several lessons, we have been hammering Lazy 8’s, Chandelles, 8’s on pylons and 180 degree power off precision landings.
I have faced demons with each of these at some point but have continued to practice and slay each of them over time. In my last couple of flights, the 180 power offs really got into my head. I had a pretty atrocious lesson a few days ago in which I was either short or long on most of my approaches. I ended on a good one and felt I made a connection, but it was a disappointing lesson.
Two days later, I jumped back into the cockpit for a lesson completely focusing on power off 180’s. As a bonus the weather blessed us with swinging cross winds. And also and empty pattern, woohoo!
This was good because I really had to focus on energy management and what the wind was doing during each phase of the approach. With the help of my instructor, I also realized that I wasn’t focusing on my aim point until I actually turned final which hurt me quite a bit on determining altitude and energy. Once I started focusing on my aim point, I was able to make better decisions and corrections.
I quickly learned that altitude was a friend and started turning base a bit high on purpose in the windy conditions. I have many tools in the bag to loose altitude but none to gain altitude. And with the wind changing from head to tail wind depending on the lap in the pattern, this turned out to be a good strategy to help gauge the winds.
All in all, this last lesson was a big confidence booster and i’m getting to the point that the checkride is in the cards for the near future. I am going to do another flight or two by myself to cleanup a few maneuvers then I will start some mock checkrides on the way to the finish line.
I can’t say i’ll be posting more here. However, I would like to since as soon as I finish this Commercial Certificate, I am jumping right into CFI. Going to be a wild ride!