Took another lesson today and really enjoyed it. Learned a whole lot… We flew today in N14HV (Tecnam Sierra) and did:

  • Turns around a point
  • S-turns
  • More steep-turns
  • In pattern engine out situations
  • Forward slips into landings
  • Go arounds
  • Radio calls

Did a total of 6 takeoffs and 5 landings (maybe more for both… not sure). I got used to making radio calls into the traffic frequency for each leg of the pattern which was good. Reviewing for today helped a lot; I made sure to study up on the new material before I got to the airport, which makes the flying a lot easier.

The instructor did a few “real-life” situations with me which was great practice and helped developed some improved decision making. On one occasion, he (the instructor) pulled the power back to idle when we were at cruising altitude. He got me to verbally explain each step to take in case of an engine failure. On another occasion, on the downwind of the pattern, he did the same thing, pulling back the power to idle. At first, I wasn’t sure the plane could make the runway if an engine failure were to occur… but he quickly corrected me. We turned perpendicular to the runway, entering at about halfway down the runway and made a quick landing. That sort of real life situational experience is something that should really help prepare me for my solo.

Forward slips into landing were interesting and felt pretty strange. I didn’t have any issues with it other than making sure to really push that right rudder all the way in (I was hesitant at first to really go for it). Landing off of a forward slip was a cool experience and felt totally different!

Overall, today went nicely. I went ahead and bought the flight manual for the P2002 Sierra so I could make sure to review more about the aircraft while at home.

And good news! This Wednesday, I turn 16 which makes me eligible to solo! I have reserved a slot Wednesday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30 for (hopefully) my first solo (if the medical and weather works out). The instructor today said that “if given the opportunity, I would just have you go out and solo right now, you’re perfectly ready.” So that is good news, it’s all going by so quickly. Right now, I’m only at 4.4 hours. I’m glad my instructors have some confidence in my ability! The weather isn’t looking great for Wednesday, and no guarantee that it will be the right time for me to solo (need to make sure there aren’t any last minute kinks). I will make sure to write something good for the blog about it, hopefully I’ll be able to use my GoPro camera!

Have a great week!

-Swayne Martin

Cockpit on the Tecnam Eaglet (virtually the same as the Sierra)

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