Weather is Clear!  Right Seat Maneuvers Practice!


The weather is finally starting to behave out here! Maybe the State of Washington will finally take its weather back! 

I had one of the C-172’s scheduled last week, did my preflight and the stall horn was dead as the proverbial doornail. Since it is basic required equipment I had to ground it and search last minute for another Cessna 172 and found one available. Unfortunately, it was one of the more expensive C172’s because they had a panel mount GPS certified for IFR (It’s about $100/hr,,, a bit of a difference from the regularly equipped C-172’s). Yet, it was either that are I called it a day and left without flying. So I opted to take the plane.

I couldn’t ask for finer weather, last Wednesday. The sky was clear and the air above 3,000 feet was smooth as glass.

During the flight (which I flew entirely from the right side ((left seat was empty))) I practiced demonstrating the Commercial maneuvers and some of the Private Pilot maneuvers while ‘talking’ to my imaginary student in the left seat. Once I got over the practice area I did a number of Chandelles to take me up to the altitude I needed to practice the Lazy 8’s and steep turns (5.000 feet). I was glad to see that the Lazy 8’s weren’t as horribly shabby as I worried they might be with some of the delays we’ve been having due to weather over the previous 8 weeks. While they needed work, I was pleased that the Lazy 8’s had not suffered too badly and it wouldn’t likely take me more than a few sessions on my own to polish them up again..

I did some 55 degree banked 360 degree turns in both directions and leveling out on the same point. Figuring it was time to do some of the low altitude ground reference maneuvers I used a series of power-off steep spirals to get down to a lower altitude.

I must admit I was impressed of how I could fly from the right side as easily as I would have done the maneuvers from the left side. Other than the bit of ‘dust’ that was on the maneuvers, I was flying them from the right side like it was some ‘non-event’ 

Next on the agenda was demonstrating the turns on pylons. I also followed up by demonstrating the private pilot ground reference maneuver known as S-Turns across a road.

Looked at my watch and realized it was about time that I headed back to RHV. So I used some Chandelles to get me back up to 3,000 feet and headed towards UTC announced my position and later got cleared to land on the left.

A great day and a major confidence builder as, for the most part, my ‘solo’ practice session from the right side on the maneuvers went without so much as a hitch. I’m hoping the weather cooperates later this week so I can get in another practice session. Next week I’m scheduled with John in the Arrow III.

What is really going to help me out will be the good weather that should be coming our way now; that and having the Arrow III manage to stay out of it’s routine maintenance cycle on the days I need it for airwork.

In my non-flying time I have been mercilessly grilling myself on the Fundamentals of Instruction audio CD’s and also going through the CFI checkride audio CD's I created from some of my DVD CFI training materials. I’ve still got to make a complete pass through the 15 CD series of all the CFI material I covered when I was prepping for the written (a good number of months ago) just so the information is fresh in-mind.

As part of working on my practice teaching sessions (from teaching aerodynamics lessons, weight and balance,,, etc) it occurred to me that I can practice teaching on my dry erase board and video taping my ‘lessons’. Then what I plan to do is create training segments out of the videos that I’ll get purely as an adjunct from practicing my teaching lessons and use them on content for my soon-to-come website (which will be up once I have my CFI certificate) www.LearnToFlyWithPilotGuy (not up yet). I’m figuring I can simultaneously accomplish two tasks in that by developing content for my CFI website, I will also be studying and rehearsing the stuff that I need for my CFI. If I can swing it, I’m going to see if I can get a digital video recorder used on ebay (having it in digital format already will make the transfer to my computer and then to the website easier than having to convert analog video into digital from my analog video recorder.

What I envision my LearnToFlyWithPilotGuy website to be is both an online ‘business card’ and a complete online reference teaching aid for my students. For instance, after a session on aerodynamics they can view my video and text lessons on the same subject when they are back home,, and at their convenience. I’m very excited about the prospect of using the new website as a supportive teaching tool I can’t help thinking that all my different types of skills all will serve to lend themselves well towards really creating a very comprehensive teaching experience for my flight students.

In the next month or two I’m going to get the web server space up and begin loading the components of my CFI website so that you can see them. Obviously I won’t be referring anyone to the site until I have my certificate at which point I’ll submit it to all the internet search engines for ‘spidering’./’web crawling’. But I’ll give you the URL’s so you can check it out. Of course when you see it you will have to understand that it is just in the framework stage, but it should still be somewhat interesting at that.

Of course will continue as well.  The website will have references to it from my website as well.

Good Flights!

Below graphic designed by: Jeff Bucchino,
"The Wizard of Draws" (copyright owner)

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