Hour 14.3 Logged - Steep approaches, Max Pwr Take-offs, Patterns all in a cross-wind
Well, it was a short lesson, but I got in a few steep approaches and two max-power takeoffs plus a few turns through the pattern.
The max power take-offs are o.k., but I still need to work on not inputting so much forward cyclic (I tend to nose down too much and then am fine once I pull back a bit). I also found out what happens if you try to resume a normal take-off profile after clearing the obstacle if you don't reduce the power first (I nosed down to get my 60KIAS and ballooned up pretty fast). Won't forget that little step in the future. Also, I keep forgetting to take off my collective friction after rolling RPMs back up from my mag check.
On steep approaches, I did good on the first attempt (approach to surface - first time and it was fun/good). Pretty solid and the instructor had little need to put hands on. I'm still getting the feel of it though and on the second one, I was descending a bit too fast. My CFI told me to watch my descent rate and I did. I glued eyes on the VSI and forgot to look outside. I ended up hovering about 100 ft in the air. Once I got chastised a bit (deserved) and realized what I had done, I did a pretty darn good steep approach right onto my spot without any further ado. The lesson for me is to stay outside the copter and try to correlate the feeling and visual of what is and isn't a good descent rate. Just use the gauge as a cross-check.
I also did a few normal take-offs and landings and those were pretty good. However, I still hose it up as soon as I start trying to make radio calls. I had really good patterns until turning base/final and then I would lose it if I was making the call. If the CFI calls, I'm pretty stable and on track. Give me the mic and I'll forget to fly as I start thinking about what to say. Definitely need work in the area of radio calls in flight.
Other than that, the only other noteworthy item from the lesson was that there was a pretty significant cross-wind and I was definitely better that previous attempts with similar conditions. Also, my final set-down I started having my old problem of over-working the collective. It's an older ship and I know the collective tends to rise if it's not held down so , I was putting in good light pressure, I was just never letting it go. Once I figure out what my problem was, I had a good set-down and everything made sense again.
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to reduce my schedule to once a week for the next month or so (refinancing the house and don't want to apply for the student loan until that's done). I'm going to get some flight sim software and controls for my laptop in the interim so I can hopefully reduce the amount of feel I lose during the extended non-flying time. Not sure if it'll work, but we'll see.
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