Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saying goodbye to Blue Ash Airport

     On 8/29/12, the city of Cincinnati had to say goodbye to another one of its General Aviation airports. These past few years while traffic diminished and airplanes were relocated to nearby airports by their owners, organizations like the AOPA had been fighting to keep Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport(KISZ) alive. Instead of a bustling GA airport that it once was, it will be turned into a recreational park and an extension of a local golf course.

Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport(KISZ)

     Although I never got to put Blue Ash in my logbook or had any close connection to the airport, it is always sad to see a local airport close. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wheel Landings, Emergencies, and Wind

     Instead of hopping straight into the Cub, Joe and I did some ground school. We covered various topics -- VORs, Weight and Balance, Performance Charts, etc... After that short ground school session, we went out to the airplane. N77500 was waiting for us warm and full of fuel. Winds were strong but variable. They were out of the East when we started our taxi. After a long taxi to runway 8, we took off. The airplane felt extremely heavy and I ran out of trim while trying to keep the nose up. The plane was heavy, the day was humid, and it was pretty hot, so it's not a huge surprise.

     Video filmed with my GoPro HD Hero 2 during my lesson on 8/26/12

     The first landing was normal but long. Runway 8 is somewhat downhill so we floated forever. We switched to runway 26 after we took off again on runway 8. The first time we went to land, we had to go around because another plane and a glider were both landing to the East still. We did a few more normal landings on runway 26 and one emergency. On the emergency, I wanted to fly more "aggressive" than I normally would, so I cut my pattern short and did a huge slip. We fell like a rock to get down and the landing was pretty good.

     Joe decided that we should start trying wheel landings out. This was was very...interesting. We did one exercise a few times to get used to having the tail wheel up in the air. Basically, doing a takeoff but bringing the power back and keeping the stick forward so we didn't lift off. I did this twice, then Joe demonstrated a wheel landing for me after going around the pattern. I then did one. My touchdown was good, but I didn't hold the stick forward like I should have, so the plane bounced a few times before settling down. I wasn't too happy about ending the lesson this way.

     I have a lesson scheduled for my birthday(September 4th). If I can get my medical that day, I will do my first solo flight. If not, I will still be able to get up in the air!

This Flight: .9 hours N77500, 40I-40I
Total hours to date: 17.9

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Piper Cub landing practice

     It felt really good to be back in the Cub. In the Piper Cub, you don't have the distraction of a bunch instruments scattered in front of you. Flying this airplane is pure stick and rudder.

     After chatting inside for a bit, Joe and I went out to the Cub, N77500. This is the small, 65hp Cub. I did a quick preflight and Joe propped the engine. The winds were coming straight down the runway and were favoring 26, so we had a very short taxi over there. Following our brief "CIGAR" checklist, everything was good to go.

Video from this lesson with a GoPro HD Hero 2

     We took off and immediately turned Southeast towards Caesar Creek Gliderport(2OH9). This is the location of the Caesar Creek Soaring Club. It's only a two mile long flight, so I just stayed at pattern altitude the whole time. I crossed over the airport and entered a left crosswind for runway 27. It was the first landing of the day, so it was a little bouncy. This was also my first time at this airport. I taxied back on the grass runway and departed again on runway 27.

     Immediately after takeoff, I entered a left base for runway 26 at Red Stewart. This landing was a whole lot better. We did about 5 more landings at Red Stewart before shutting down for the day. Included in those landings were one Simulated Engine Out on downwind and one Touch n Go. My best landing of the day was definitely during my Simulated Engine Out. I made a tight pattern and slipped it down. When I touched down, I didn't even feel a bump. My only indication that we had landing was the clanking of the cub on the bumpy grass.

     Although shorter than the last one, today was really a great lesson. I got a lot of confidence in the Cub and I feel like I am really ready to solo. Now all I have to do is wait for my 16th birthday!

This Flight: .8 hours N77500, 40I-2OH9-40I
Total hours to date: 17.0

Monday, August 6, 2012

Pre-Solo, loops, and skydivers

     With my 16th birthday being less than a month away, it was time to start preparing to solo. We took the Cessna 150 up once more to practice as many takeoffs and landings as we could do. After a normal preflight of N3718J, we took to the skies.

     First, Joe told me to go around the pattern a few times at Red Stewart before we went to Dayton Wright Brothers. I went around the pattern two or three times. The first approach was extremely high, but instead of going around we just landed long. The landing wasn't too bad though. Each approach after my first one kept getting better and better. After the last landing at Red Stewart, we went over to Dayton Wright Brothers for a bit. We did a few normal landings there and did one exercise that I found to be a bit more challenging than what I expected. I also got to do my first go around. When we were about to turn base for runway 20, another Cessna came barreling below us to land on the same runway. He just cut right in front of us and took forever to get off the runway, forcing us to go around.

Video from my flight lesson on 8-6-12

     For the exercise, I just had to keep enough power in to stay 1-2ft off the ground and fly down the center line of the entire runway. When I did it, I let the aircraft touch down for a moment by accident. I don't know why it was so hard for me...

     We finally decided to head over to Middletown Regional Airport(Hook Field) to do a few more takeoffs and landings there. I entered a straight in approach for runway 23 from about 5 miles out to. It was nice to have a long stabilized approach. I carried in power in all of my approaches there and my landings seemed to have improved when I did that. On our first pattern there, there we skydivers coming down right above us so I opted to widen our pattern because they were landing midfield. When we taxied by them on the ground, they all gave me a wave which felt pretty cool. We realized how long we had been gone when we looked at the hobbs meter so we went back to Red Stewart.

     The next two lessons before my birthday will be back in the cub so that I can get used to the plane again before I solo. This was definitely one of my more interesting flight lessons!

This Flight: 1.8 hours N3718J, 40I-KMGY-KWO-40I
Total hours to date: 16.2