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Hour 20 - Finally! A good normal approach!!!

Kelly N.



Well, it's been 10 days since I flew last. However, I felt really good today heading to the lesson and just knew it was going to be a good day. I guess I fulfilled my own expectations :D


I still had a bit of trouble on the turn to base and then final (either going too low and/or slowing too much), but my normal approaches were 100% better. I still need to work on them a bit to get them exact, but I did two of the five that were almost perfect.


On the turn to base, I need to remember to start my descent and get my rate of descent solid at around 300-400fpm prior to my turn and then maintain that through my turn to base and final. I caught myself a couple of times pulling back on the cyclic when I would lower the collective on base (instead of maintaining my attitude I was actually flaring the nose up which resulted in my slowing down, needing more down collective to maintian my R/D, etc).


I also have to remember that the ship feels slightly nose high to me when it's actually level on the normal descents (and steep descents for that matter).


I think if I can get that handled next time, my patterns will be very solid and the approaches will be that much easier.




Settling with Power


Did my first work with settling with power today and it was a blast! We climbed to 2000' MSL (1600'AGL) and reduced speed into almost OGE hover and then flared to reduce the remaining airspeed while maintaining altitude. Once we got below ETL, we lowered the collective to start the descent and, as it passed 350-400fpm the shudder started. Pulling collective increased the R/D. Once settling with power was established, we turned into the wind and applied slight forward cyclic until the forward airspeed increased beyond ETL and then climbed back to 2000'.


It was incredibly fun (to be that high and the feeling of the forward glide as we escaped ETL). It was also an eye opener to see how long it took to get out of vortex ring state when we didn't turn into the wind and actually just started moving forward with a tailwind.


All in all, it was a great lesson and I felt like I was back in good form. I still need to polish my pattern work and fix that pesky base leg. I also need to fight the tendency to make too big of a move when I'm correcting my airspeed (if I slow down I make a big move forward which, obviously, is not a good thing). However, I'm getting there and feel like I'm back on track after a couple of not so glowing flying sessions.


My next lesson is on Sunday (with a new CFI who just hired on so, it should be interesting and fun). Can't wait!




Safe flying,




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