“It’s not a linear process”

Can it be? Three in a row?! Yes, well.. sort of.

The weather today was looking marginal for finishing up practicing spins and spirals. So I decided today would be better spent on a ground briefing than in the air. I was still able to get in 2 flights this weekend.

Saturdays flight was probably the best lesson I’ve had to date. I felt really comfortable at the controls and not once did I not feel unprepared. The weather was great too!

This was the first time (for me) that the plane had de-icing fluid on it. It looked like someone spilled Orange Crush all over the plane. I was warned to not get any of it on my clothes as it can stain. Preflight and walkaround was uneventful. My take off this time was much better. The advice the FI gave me last time helped!

We headed to the practice area to practice stalls. This is where the FI noticed that the ammeter was showing a low voltage. We spent some time trying to troubleshoot the problem. We had turned around to head back to the airport when we tried one last thing. It worked! Problem solved, we turned around and kept on practicing (with a close eye on that ammeter).

I was actually having a lot of fun stalling the airplane. We practiced power off recoveries, and power on recoveries. We also practiced some “pretend” circuits out in the practice area. It was good fun. Heading back was good too. I was able to identify the landmarks I needed in order to figure out where I was heading. I made the radio calls coming into the zone:

Me: “Buttonville tower, Cessna 172 Golf Foxtrot Alpha Kilo Echo with information Golf”

Tower: “FAKE, Tower”

Me: “Buttonville tower, Golf Foxtrot Alpha Kilo Echo is over Preston Lake at 2000 feet in-bound for landing”

Tower: “Stand by”

So we wait.. we pass over our first reporting point and are about to enter the zone. We arn’t sure if we were cleared into the zone yet. [Some discussion after yielded that we were probably ok to enter, since we were not told otherwise]. My FI tells me to turn the plane (so that we don’t enter the zone) just as that happens, the Tower gets us on the Radio and we proceed to the airport. It’s busy today!

Yesterdays lession was fun as well. Today we were doing spins. Had a little trouble starting the engine, took a few seconds to realize that I left the fuel mixture full lean, instead of full rich. With that fixed, the engine started on the first go!

I think this was the best take off I’ve done yet. Still a little too nose high.

Heading to the practice area seemed to take longer than normal. The FI said that it was probably due to the winds. When we arrive, we get right into spins. They are just as fun as I thought they’d be – except we had some trouble getting the airplanes into a spin (they were developing into spirals). We had done about 5 or 6 before I started getting sick.

I don’t start feeling sick until we pull out of the dive. The g-forces is what gets to me. It’s a challenge because when you are in the spin, the yoke is pulled really far back (because you are stalled). so in order to break the stall you only have to move the yoke a little bit forward, but its no where near neutral.

In any case, I will need to practice recovering from a spin one or two more times before we can move to spirals.

The difference between the two are:


– Airplane is stalled

– Use Rudder to stop the spin


– Airplane is *not* stalled and gaining speed rapidly as you dive.

– Use elevators *and* rudder to stop spin.

– Greater load factor / G-Forces.

My FI doesn’t teach me how to enter a spin or spiral (thats saved for the Commercial) but we need to know how to exit from one.

I’ve started taking on more tasks this lesson again. Getting used to how the radio works (ie, thinking ahead to pre-dial in frequencies I need to talk to). I’m making all of my radio calls except for in the circuit and on the Unicom in the practice area.

Today’s ground briefing was all about the circuit and illusions. I’m actually looking forward to my circuit work. I can’t wait to get to that stage since I will be able to focus on my take-offs and landings.

I spoke briefly with my FI about what should I start thinking about once I get my PPL. Yes I want to eventually get my ATPL, but there are many routes to get there. I’m going to spend the next few days doing some research and figure out how I want to get there.

All of the numbers are now up to date.

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