A break in the weather and the work schedule allowed me to grab a quick flight with Grant today. The wind was at 15knts and the clouds were broken. This is only my second instrument flight but turns out I’d actually improved. Honestly it might have been the sim time I had the week prior. The sim allowed me to screw stuff up without worrying about wasting time up in the air. For a while I thought sim time wasn’t as valuable but now I’m actually thinking about buying something I can run on my computer just so I can get the VOR stuff down. Anyway, on to the flight.
We picked up into the wind and headed north to the same smaller airport we had gone to last time. We dialed in the airport and off we went. I am trying to work on my scan which is tough. If you take your eye off of anything at all it changes immediately. I still don’t have my scan down yet but I think that’ll come as soon as I spend more time in the aircraft. The wind had picked up a little at altitude and keeping us lined up was difficult to say the least. I’m positive if you were to look at our GPS track it would have looked like I was trying to weave in and out of cones. Altitude I was able to keep fairly level but I’d drop collective unknowingly and at least twice Grant had to tell me to pull some pitch. After the second time I made a mental not to scan the RPM and how much power I was pulling every 5 seconds. Midway through the flight I had a rhythm down. Grant mentioned a few times that I was doing great but I couldn’t really tell if he was BS’ing me or if I had really improved from the first flight. I have a hunch he was being forthright because he asked me to look up and we were pretty much where we had intended, headed right in to the center of the runway on 14L. We made our departure and ran a couple more approaches. Each one was pretty solid.
I felt good about the progress and we decided to head home. On the way he asked that I close my eyes and take my hands and feet off the controls. I wasn’t feeling awesome already and I had a hunch Grant was going to try to make me feel less awesome. He said we were going to get into some unusual attitudes and then I’d try to recover quickly. I shut my eyes and he banked left, right, up, down… roller coaster stuff. He asked me to open my eyes and recover just by the instruments. We did it 3 times and I think I pissed him off that I did it so easily. Take that Grant. The next thing he did was to ask me to get into a standard turn right bank and then close my eyes and tell him what I felt the aircraft was doing. I watched it on video and after about 3 seconds I had started into a left bank and continued to point the nose into the dirt. He let it go on for a little bit then asked me to open my eyes. Whoops. Not good. I threw in some aft cyclic and wondered who decided flying around in clouds was ok.
That was it for the lesson.
Big lessons learned?
Little tiny corrections.
Things happen really really fast.
Learn how to scan the instruments in a efficient manner.