Aviation In Canada

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Finally flew

The weather fell all morning. 140BKN, then 090SCT, then 090BKN, and eventually 040BKN. But that's where it stayed. We had the odd sprinkle all morning, but not after noon. The wind was only 10 knots, and that's where it stayed. The forecasters were wrong, and I was able to fly.

While my flight was uneventful, I listened to another call while I was in the circuit, doing touch-and-goes for currency's sake. Obviously an instructor with a student, he asked, in the downwind, if he could do a 360 and then rejoin for a simulated engine failure in the circuit. The 360 was for spacing with me ahead of him, so he could give his student a failure from about mid-downwind. That's something that wasn't done with me. All of the engine failure practice I was given during my training concentrated on failure on take-off. A good item to practice, certainly, but it could happen elsewhere. I decided to make the last two practice for such a thing on my own after hearing this. When everyone else landed and I had the airport to myself, I played a little. And disappointed myself, too. I would have fallen short of my target both tries. Close, but not quite on the runway. Which is a strange twist of concepts.

I've been criticized by instructors for flying my circuits too closely, always leaving myself high on final. I always made my target spots. As a result, I've made conscious efforts to fly a little wider to allow a shallower approach angle. Perhaps I should stop trying to fly a little wider and go back to my old way of doing things. At least I have ways of losing excess altitude. It's hard to find more without an engine.