A lovely early morning start today saw me up at Rochester Airport at 8AM busy carrying out my checks in bright sunshine on G-BNIV. Today was obviously my first flight after my solo so emotions felt a little different this morning. It was if the pressure was off now that the looming spectre of that first solo flight had passed. That said, I was still acutely aware that I had to concentrate and work equally as hard as before (perhaps more) in order to keep progress going and avoid any backward steps. The high from last Sunday lasted the whole week. I guess that is quite normal. I wasn't as "nervous" as normal.
Today's lesson was based on circuit flying of course as well as a glide descent. You can see the glide descent clearly in the motion track below. We did the normal two stage of flap landings, plus a flapless landing. We also did a three stage of flaps landing. I enjoyed that. You have to really drive it with power. Without the power it sinks pretty fast. I did 5 circuits with my instructor Mike then we did the stop, and he got out for me to do to 3 touch and goes.
We were on runway 34 with that wretched bump in the middle and sure enough I managed to hit it on the second touch and go and ballooned right up. I came down with a B-A-N-G on the nose wheel and in the process I may well have lost a tooth filling! It was quite a shock. I managed to raise one stage of flap and with the carb heat already sorted I hit full throttle. At about 15ft, keeping the nose down I ran parallel to the runway and gained enough speed to commence a good climb out. The recovery from from that point was fine.
In talking with my instructor afterwards, it was clear that the second landing was one of those "when it goes wrong" landings and he said I did the right thing in dealing with it. It was good experience. Thankfully with the feeling of the second bad landing still fresh the last one was OK. Albeit a tad fast again.
What went wrong then? Well, I was a bit too fast on all three approaches and I naffed up the landing on the second touch and go. I payed the price with the balloon brought on with the bump in the runway. There is a tree before the threshold of 34 which [keen to avoid] I was high across. My ground speed was high because as it transpired the wind went from being a head wind 330 to 300 and then to 270. Different on each approach. The last one having practically no headwind component. To be honest - I was wondering about my stop distance as the hedge was looming up!
Experience. Practice. That's what it comes down to.
As for the rest of it. The circuit handling was fine. Speed and altitude was pretty much under control and I seemed to have plenty of time to carry out my checks and RT calls without any issue.
Mike my instructor said "Well done Paul" as I left but I have 7 days to mull over that landing [number 2]. I am determined about nailing this, and I must do better.
P.S Oh - certainly one positive ... Take-Offs are feeling better. As I may have said before, they were something that I was not particularly enjoying. For me I think it was the trundling along a bumpy grass runway waiting to rotate (take off) that just didn't feel comfortable. These seem to be feeling fine now.
Next Lesson? Saturday 21st. I also need to book my Performance Planning Exam!
19.14-05-11 C152 G-BNIV EGTO EGTO 08:40 09:20 0:40 1-1 EX12/13 FF/FL
19.14-05-11 C152 G-BNIV EGTO EGTO 09:20 09:45 0:25 1-1 EX12/13 SELF