Flying Lesson # 32 – GFPT Revision

September 26, 2012

After returning from holidays in Melbourne, I came down with the cold and was out of action for nearly a week. My Sunday flying lesson had to be postponed and even when I finally flew on Wednesday, I probably shouldn’t have!

I knew we would be doing GFPT revision, I thought maybe some circuit work or forced landings at a stretch, and even though I was feeling a bit off, I thought I’d be fine with those activities. Little did I know what Robert had in store for me! Let’s just say when you’re sick, 360º steep turns are not good! We headed out toward the southern training area before cutting in toward the eastern training area to conduct a practice forced landing. The area that Robert took me to, about 3 miles east of Park Ridge, is the same area used in the test. It’s a nice open grass area very reminiscent of a runway. My checklist was perfect! I remembered every step and conducted it all at the right times. I recognised the ‘high key’ position and turned on to downwind. When abeam the threshold, I was a little high. I should have slipped it down to 1500 feet, though nerves got the best of me and I decided to do maneuvers instead to lose height before final approach. Turns out I didn’t lose enough height and, by the time I put out full flap, it was a little too late. When I went around at 500 feet, I was already half way down the runway and probably wouldn’t have been able to put it down in time. Lesson learned, set the plane up nice and early and make sure I am at the specified heights at high and low key. Robert was satisfied I knew what I was doing. I just misjudged that one landing, so we moved on.

We headed out to the eastern training area to have a look at steep turns. The altitude was already making me feel a little queasy so I wasn’t too excited about doing steep turns. The first couple were shockers! I had forgotten what to look for when it comes to attitude. I was either losing altitude or gaining too much. The idea is to bank to 30°, pull back on the control column to tighten the turn through 60° and hold a level attitude to avoid losing or gaining height. I had Robert demonstrate a good steep turn and my next few were pretty good. To try and have it stick in my head and to get the most from my money, we just kept going, one after the other. With every turn, my stomach got tighter and tighter. I must say, I was quite relieved when Robert said we would call it a day. I navigated back to Archerfield and packed the plane away for the day.

I’m booked in for a lesson next Monday. The scary part though, is that I’m going in 3 hours early to do my BAK test. Eek! Looks like I’ll be studying nonstop for the next week.

Until next time…

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