March 25, 2004 - Instrument Maneuvers
Yesterday took my instrument lesson after 3 weeks of cancellations. First delay, President Bush landed at Moffet Airfield and the resulting TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) closed down my home airport (as well as some others) during the hours of his visit. My CFII took good advantage of the 'down' time and ran me through questions in preparation for the oral in the checkride. Second delay, my instructor was going to be out of town on my normal lesson day and I could not make any other day because of conflict with a customer appointment. Third delay, I took a necessary break because the oldest of my two dogs had passed away (actually had to have her put to sleep as she had become so weak from the tumor from her terminal cancer - hardest decision I ever had to make).
So,,, fade to yesterday.....
Since I was concerned about working off any accumulated rust off of my instrument flying skills (and the weather was looking questionable) my instructor suggested that we just work on some instrument flight maneuvers (slow flight, power-on stalls, power off stalls, steep turns - all performed with Foggles ).
The winds were favoring 13L & 13R and we wanted a Calaveras departure (which would be directly behind us on a 13 departure). So the tower cleared us to make a left downwind departure via runway 13L. No sooner than I'd made my crosswind turn my instructor told me to put on the Foggles, while he momentarily controlled the plane. With Foggles, on, I began my turn to the downwind. I heard my instructor say that we would need to obtain an amended clearance and turn to a southerly heading because of some ominous looking weather that lay in our path (totally contrary to the TAF). So, my instructor requested an amended clearance from the tower. The tower said that they found themselves thinking that would be a GOOD idea because their storm scope was showing significant activity in the vicinity of the Calaveras departure.
So, I performed a 180 and headed to the practice area that was just south of my home airport.
Upon arriving in the practice area, my CFII had me perform (in Foggles); power-on stalls, power-off stalls, steep turns and slow flight. He also had me perform some stall recoveries with two of my instruments (the attitude indicator and heading indicator) 'failed' (i.e., he covered these instruments with a no-peeky cover).
After we finished with maneuvers, my CFII gave me vectors to return to my home airport. Had me 'come out of the clouds' by having me remove my Foggles, while we were on a 45 into the downwind. I performed a well-executed base to final turn which found me looking at 'red over white' on the VASI. There was a slight crosswind and I performed a side slip,,, would have been a perfect landing but I let my upwind wing back-up a tad too much and started to drift very slightly,,, corrected drift by returning to the side slip - made an otherwise nice landing.
After the flight, my instructor and I had a good debriefing.....
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