Today I flew 1.3 hours with John La Porta. This is my third lesson with him and my 6th overall. Aviation has been a dream and a goal of mine since I was very young and I decided it was time to realize that goal when I met a friend who happened to be a CFI (certfied flight instructor).
After preflight, I asked John if we could focus on landings today. He agreed and asked me to tell him what I know so far about landing a small craft. After discussing for several minutes, he gave me the list of steps we would take during a landing which I jotted down.
On our first go round, we came around too steep so my instincts told me to nose up. It was on this landing that I got my first real lesson on flying “the back side of the curve.” The little Cessna C-150 took the bounce surprisingly well. We settled it down and then re-applied full throttle to take off again. Surprised that my sucky landing didn’t snap the wings off, we climbed albeit a bit unsteadily.
John took us out over Redmond so we could discuss landings further and get me more proficient at firm rudder control. Previosly, I was unaware of the amount of spring in the rudder controls. You can (and should) depress both pedals simultaneously a few inches to keep the rudder from being blown about.
We also simulated several patterns. I continue to be impressed by. The tight turning radius this thing is capable of in slow flight. I need more hours to ge used to it’s capabilities.
We returned to BFI for four more landings. Each one was incrementally better, despite a notable crosswind.
It was very comforting to see the runway come into alignment and realize that I am naturally crabbing 15 degrees to maintain centerline without any effort.
My final landing stuck fairly well. I was mostly able to let go of my instinct to control altitude with the nose and instead use throttle with angle of attack controlling airspeed.
I have a long way to go, but this was perhaps the most instructive lesson to date.
(apologies for typos and grammar. Written on iphone, editing later on)