After the 3 rd smooth (relatively) touch and go, I was feeling pretty comfortable and confident. I mean I'm flying this aircraft all by myself for a whole flight without anyone's help!
On the next landing, things went alright, I'm rolling down the runway and do the normal full power, carb heat cold and rotate. A couple seconds go by and I notice the aircraft is feeling pretty sluggish, I'm not really climbing and I'm at a low airspeed. I'm looking around the cockpit at the engine guages, anything that could help and that's when I notice what's wrong. Can you guess what I forgot?
If you said the flaps well you're smarter than I was. Full flap. So what do I do? By reflex reach over and slap them all the way up to 0. That's when things got worse. By reducing the extra lift the flaps created instantly I started coming down faster than I was comfortable with.
Being how I was only about 1-200ft. AGL, there wasn't a whole lot of room to spare. Thank goodness I payed attention to my stall training and didn't pull up. I let the nose down a bit to get a safe airspeed as the fences and powerlines loomed ahead and then climbed out.
Pucker Factor = 8 out of 10
So take this as a lesson all student pilots and don't forget to put your flaps up on a touch and go. If you do forget for heaven's sake, put your flaps up in stages, and pay attention during the upper air work prior to entering the ciruit.
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However I handled it like I was supposed to I guess. It was probably my second or third solo flight. I got off really quick and thought this isnt right at all, controls sluggish, took off without indicated airspeed. First thought was control problem. I quickly eliminated that and thought about what I just did which brought me to what I didnt do, flaps so I lifted them in small increments. My biggest mistake was letting it drift to the right a few degrees, I guess I handled it alright though.
I shook my head at my self for the next few circuits and made sure I pointed it out to my instructor before he pointed it out to me.
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That's a normal take-off for a loaded 180 on glassy water on a warm day!arctic navigator wrote:I was heavy, but everything seemed normal until I got to about 70mph... I rotated to my "normal" pitch attitude and nothing happened, it just continued to accelerate, so I pulled it up a little more, then more, then hauled it off the ground then it settled back down onto the runway... By this time I was doing 85mph and definately didnt have enough time to abort the run... I grabbed the handle, pulled on flap 15 (normal takeoff setting) and the airplane climbed like an elevator, and the rest of the trip went uneventful... All I can say is that I thank god that the flaps were manual in that airplane, and every flight I make now I check my flap setting twice prior to releasing the brakes as well as prior to the takeoff roll...
Around 150 hours and timebuilding for the commercial was when I made most of my stupid unforseen mistakes (so far). Now I find that most of my mistakes are things I did when I knew better. It really bothers me when I do that, and has taught me "never be in a hurry".
Anyway, I was practising the approach to a one-way mountain strip that my instructor and I were going to land at the next day. I wasn't allowed to land there solo, but I could play around with the flying part as much as I wanted to.
The strip is about 1500 feet long, overgrown grass. A couple of wingspans wide. The strip is perpendicular to an inlet, and is cut out of a forest of very, very tall trees. One end of the strip ends at a narrow beach in the inlet, which is about a third of a mile wide. The other end abruptly halts at the trees, and the terrain steepens.
I was approaching to the last point where I could go around, then doing a canyon turn and flying back to the entrance of the inlet, then repeating the procedure. Becoming more focused on experimenting with the approach, I fixated on the procedure too much and arrived at the point of no overshoot. I was in a high-drag configuration, with full flap and tons of power (I should have been approaching steep with full flap and power off). I started the overshoot, not climbing.... retracted the flaps a bit... it's settling...... i'm climbing..... wait... ok retract a bit more..... phew I cleared the trees. Now I'm just above the trees matching the rising terrain with my best climb angle, and just had enough room to widen out and turn around, dropping the nose through the apex of the turn. I wasn't thinking about anything but "do something now. Do something right the hell now".
So... I fixated. That got me into that mess. But my biggest mistake was to follow the pre-concieved notion of "don't land here" and overshoot. in retrospect, the best course of action would have been to continue the bang-on approach and have a relatively uneventful landing on the rough little strip. Of course the CFI would have been ok with it.
Would have...... could have......
could have gone much worse. I learned a lot about flying, and a lot about myself. After that I went on and explored the coast of BC with a little bit of extra caution and foresight, and it went without any more eventful events. It got me thinking while I fly, "this is how people fly up here and disappear. This is how i can make mistake x and error y that I read about. I must avoid complacency."
So that's my story, I'm sure you all have one.
Northen Skies <----- still learning
Anyways....I have a stupid story! I was going to Toronto from Montreal....stopped in Smith falls to refuel. Pump was not working properly. So I put back the pump & continued on towards Toronto....
On the way I noticed that my left fuel gauge was a bit lower. I was thinking "stupid fuel gauge" .....besides, many airplanes tend to consume more on the left tank as we all know!
I get to Toronto (Burlington airpark) & the line man comes to me & tells me that the left fuel cap was opened!
Odly, a little bit of fuel escaped...cuz there wer no blue streaks!?????
I felt soooo dumb after that!
Lesson to be learned....Check, check & check again!! Stick to your routien & check again....