Saturday, September 8, 2012

Stalls, slips, and spirals while solo

Plane: Cub, 65 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Broken clouds, 70 degrees, wind 260 degrees at 10 knots

Since yesterday's Cub flight was cut short by incoming storms, I decided to head up again tonight for a bunch more practice. I've really been trying to push myself to do maneuvers that I'm slightly apprehensive about doing solo - namely, stalls. I want to get my CFI (I'd love to instruct part-time) eventually and there's no way I'm ever going to be comfortable doing things with students if I'm not 100% comfortable doing them over and over on my own. Might as well start now.

I don't follow NASCAR but I bet Dale Earnhardt, Jr would like my steep turns...

I took off and climbed up to about 3,500 feet and did a bunch of steep turns. If you look at the GPS track above, it's really cool to see how my left-360-into-right-360 turns formed near-perfect figure-eights. I hit my wake on the second turn; I was really feeling it tonight.

After all the turns, I pulled the carb heat on and throttled back to idle. I did a series of power-off stalls and held the stick back into my stomach while doing some falling leafs. Then it was time for power-on stalls, which I'm slightly more apprehensive about. I think I ended up doing three or five, and they were all pretty good. Not much roll at the break even though the nose was pointed way, way, way up. Cubs stall at around 35 MPH with one pilot and a half-empty fuel tank, so you end up with quite a bit of pitch before you get that slow. Definitely a good practice session.

I eventually steep-spiraled back down to pattern altitude and made five laps around the airport. The winds were blowing straight down the runway so it made for a ton of short-field fun. Every time, I was off the ground (or touchdown to turnoff) in the length of one set of cones, which is about 300 feet. Like I always say, you just can't beat a Piper Cub for simple flying fun!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.8 hours
Total Time: 236.9 hours

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