Maneuvers Practice With Dad


July 21, 2005

My dad is visiting 'till next Monday and he had expressed some interest in
seeing what my Commercial maneuvers were 'all about'. Although this would
normally not be an outing that I would want to expose new passengers to,
somehow, knowing my dad I made the educated guess that he would likely enjoy
the experience I decided to go ahead and bring him with me on today's

Just got back from the airport and I have to tell you that he really seemed
to enjoy it!!! (I should mention that aside from just the cross-countries
he has flown with me around 6 or 7 times).

Before we started I told him that the only 'rules' were that we would only
continue as long as he was having a good time ( which included not a hint of
motion sickness either - I told him that if he started to get that 'heady
feeling' that often comes way before the nausea begins to let me know and we
would either do something else or just do straight-and-level and enjoy the
scenery). Normally (for a normal fun flight for the $100 hamburger) I would
never even mention nausea (since sometimes I've heard that it seems to
induce it once a passenger gets thinking about it). But seeing that we
would be doing some maximum performance maneuvers I thought it appropriate
in this special instance (I also placed, in the side pocket on my dad's side
a Sic-Sack, just in case - merely pointing out its location, casually and

Before the flight we went to the airport terminal building and I made use of
the tables and chairs and sat down with my dad and took out one of those
small planes (a C-172) with the foam 'runway pieces' that come with them and
demonstrated and explained each of the maneuvers we would be performing.

Once we took off, I started with some clearing turns in the practice area
and then began with 4 Chandelles in alternating directions to get us to a
good altitude to do a set of steep 50 degree turns in both directions which
was followed by a steep spirals to a point for several turns and then
continued descending to an altitude that would allow me to begin the eights
on pylons (though my dad was doing absolutely, just fine, I didn't want to
risk 'pushing it'. After the eights-on-pylons we climbed up with some
Chandelles (with me checking with my dad to see how he was faring and he was
feeling 'fit as a fiddle'). I then performed Lazy 8's (they need some work
still) about four or five - the last two were done 'cause my dad was
encouraging me to do more.

I should mention (partly for practice and mainly to keep my dad apprised of
everything I was doing and demonstrating as I went into each maneuver) I
explained 'out-loud' what we would be doing and then narrated the maneuvers,
element by element. Seemed to be a good thing to do on many levels.

On the way back I asked him (since he had expressed curiosity about stalls)
if he would like me to demonstrate a power-off stall (but I stressed to him
that it was absolutely up to him and not really necessary and I was only
asking because of his previously expressed curiosity). He said that he'd
like to see a power-off stall and I showed him one (performing a quick
recovery just at the break - altitude loss was VERY minimal). He genuinely
smiled and said that wasn't bad at all; not at all, like he had imagined.
Since he seemed curious I asked him if he'd like to see a power-on stall (he
was curious about this one, because my wife had told him her account of the
power-on stall when she went in uncoordinated and the wing started to drop a
bit and how she felt 'permanently spooked' by it. So my dad was curious
about what that was like, since he had heard my wife talk about it and even
as he told me "yes", I could tell it was one of those situations where he
had a mixture of curiosity and nervousness about it. I (correctly) judged
that there was more curiosity about this 'dark thing' he had heard about
than actual nervousness/fear.

So, I set up for a power-on stall and just at the point of beginning of the
break I recovered and again he smiled, instantly feeling at ease about this
'dark thing' he had heard about and discovered it was not as 'big and bad'
as imagination would lead one to believe. I explained what had happened to
my wife and told him if he'd like to I could demonstrate (in a lesser
degree) what happened to her. He said "not a problem, go ahead and show
me!". So I brought us into the power-on stall and let the ball be just
slightly out of the cage and showed him how the wing was just starting to
drop and then instantly recovered without continuing further into the actual
stall nor letting the wing drop, further.

Well it was time to head back to the home field and it was clear that he
just had the best of time. I got some great practice in while getting to
share another moment in the skies with my dad who had a great time as well.

Couldn't have had a better day and dad, really seemed to enjoy himself! :0)
Somehow, I knew that he would have a great time and he did!!! :0)

Just had to share!

Good Flights!

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