Friday I had my second flight.
The weather was lousy and I wasn't sure if we were flying. But luckily visibility improved (> 5000 meter is required) and the cloud base went up high enough.
The lesson was fairly similar to the last time: take-off and fly around a bit doing a lot of turning.
We flew at 1500 ft today because of the clouds.
During the flight I was already a bit more able to relax and orient myself. I was also better in controlling the rudder with my feet during turns.
This is really important flying: when you turn by rolling the wings, your aircraft "slides" in the corner, this can be correct by steering using the rudder (tail). This gives you a "coordinated turn".
After doing that for a bit we were positioned in front of Hasselt. The instructor said: "now find the airfield". Which, amazingly I was able to do. That was the first time I flew without instructions.
We then went in for 3 touch and go landings and a full stop landing.
A touch and go landing is when you land on the runway and immediatly take-off again, without stopping. A full stop landing means you stop and taxi off the runway.
As if that wasn't tense enough, it had also started raining.
For the landings one flies a "circuit" around the airfield. The circuit depends on the airfield but in general it's at 1000 ft above the runway, and you make left-handed turns.
I never understood how one knows exactly where to be in such a circuit.
At the moment what we're doing is find some known points on the ground, in our case a tennis field, a hangar a factory and a railway.
We are at these points at 1200 ft (Above Mean Sea Level - AMSL). Just over the railway we pull the engine to idle while maintaining height.
After some seconds we turn left so the runway is then at 45° to the left of us.
That way, we loose speed. Once under 100 km/h (~ 50 kts) the speed indicator is "in the white band" and we can set flaps. We still keep height at this point.
When we end up with the runway almost left to us we turn left and align with the runway.
We then put the flaps full but maintain the speed of just under 100 km/h by "picth" (nose up or down).
This makes us go down in the correct glide path. Which sometimes needs correcting.
To correct, we keep the picth the same but increase the rpm to pick up some speed until we know we can make the runway.
Once we know we'll reach the runway, we can keep the engine idle.
Just above the ground, we need to shortly level off until the plane automatically starts sinking, at which point we pitch the nose up for touch-down.
This part my instructor did, because I would pull up the nose too much too early. This is bad because then you gain height and loose speed - this means you'll stall too high up and crash.
I was more comfortable in the aircraft already. It was still hard to keep the nose in the correct position, especially with the rudder.
The landings are challenging and I can't wait to actually be able to able to stick them.
It doesn't help when it's raining!
But I feel like I'm really making progress and look forward to my next lesson.
1 hour flight time: € 96,00
1 hour instructor: € 30,00