Flight 18 – Rain, Run-ons, 180Autos – Part 31

It’s the first time I flew in rain but it was calm and fairly cool. I have 24.5 hours.

The last lesson was awesome. I felt like I had good control of the aircraft, the calls were ehhh and I’m looking forward to soloing. I have no idea when that’s going to happen but I’m thinking about it more and more. I’ll get into that in a bit.

So, I pre-flighted and we were up pretty quickly. We got into run-ons right away. Awesome! It was wet and there was no wind so our first was a little faster than normal but it felt good. The trick really is keeping it right above ETL and keep the speed down. Also a nice STRAIGHT shot in helps a ton. I’m glad there wasn’t a cross wind.

After the run-on we jumped into an auto. It came together pretty nicely. A good entry is key. If you’re all cattywampus going into an auto things just feel off from the beginning. I still forget to roll on sometimes which… ugh. When will I learn.

Next up was a few 180 autos. Those feel pretty damn cool. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You do a short approach, right when you pass the 1000′ markers you drop collective, 2 big bites off throttle, start to turn, check the collective – because you build up some high rotor speed – then it’s 1 big roll on throttle and a squeeze when you can make your spot. Baby flare, bigger flare, then collective and pedals.

We drilled on these for quite a bit and I could do those for days. Super fun and gets you out of normal pattern for a bit.

After the 180s we did some hover autos which are equally cool but getting the process down is taking a little longer for me. I understand what to do but my feet and hands are NOT doing what they are supposed to do – and certainly not in the order I want them to. I should have played more video games for better hand/eye.

A few pick ups and set downs, a couple more autos, some hover work and we called it a day. My only complaint… I am blown away that I still have trouble with pick ups and set downs. It’s beyond frustrating. DAMMIT. I’m embarrassed that my 4 year old kid could probably nail these and I’m screwing up. I think I could drill on that for an hour alone.

1.1 more hours and I’m at 25.6. I’m going to put together a retrospective of the last few months. I’ve been saving a few key things to focus on… one of them is how Midwest approaches things. In my life at work, we’re pretty agile… Meaning we can’t plan for every little challenge. Learning how to fly is the same way. Grant had no idea how I’d progress. I was terrible on the radio, I have a hard time remembering to roll on throttle in autos and I can’t smoothly set down(DAMMIT AGAIN). I can hover well and I’m ahead of the aircraft for the most part. Obviously I’m still BRAND new but it’s coming together. So trying to nail down someone’s exact path isn’t possible. Still, when am I going to solo… well, the answer is when Grant and company decide I am ready. Am I ready right now? No. Am I ready in a week? Nope. Am I ready in a month? Yeah… that’d be my guess but who knows. For now I still feel super lucky to be doing this and if I could get up every single day I would.