For today’s lesson, we concentrated solely on Engine Failure After Take-off (EFATO) and circuit emergencies today. Something happened which really gave me a boost and encouraged me – while I had my hands full remembering the checks and various things to do during the emergency, it suddenly dawned on me that I was actually landing with out any concerted mental effort – in other words, it is finally starting to become part of my muscle memory!
I honestly never thought it would happen, but it finally *clicked* today – my instructor even asked me “what changed” and I don’t really know what to say other than it just was there. No more than I really thought about parking my car – it just happened.
Not to say they were perfect, but I am getting to a spot where I can now devote some mental energy into the finer points and other tasks rather than being 100% consumed with the mechanics of the landing.
It is a good day – I am drinking the last of my home brew lager and reflecting on the journey.
I have a lot of ideas buzzing around my head for new material to post, and I am trying to pace myself so there isn’t so much material for you to get through between events of Actual Significance. However, I did have a lesson tonight, another great after-work evening lesson with no one else around but me, fairly calm winds, and a nice freshly-washed plane!
Since its been a month since my last lesson, we did a couple of normal circuits then worked more on the Emergency Circuits, where we simulate an engine failure. Plenty of work to be done there, but I do want to report that Brett said he feels like I should be ready to go SOLO soon. In fact, next lesson we will probably tighten up the emergency landings just a bit, then going forward we will start working on some lessons in Navigation – this is where you learn how to actually go somewhere!
One reason for this, is that Bankstown is a tower-controlled aerodrome, and the certificate I am going for does not allow me to fly solo from those. SO we need to go to a non-towered aerodrome, most likely Wollongong (YWOL). Once there, I guess we do more circuits so I can get used to the area, then at some point he will cut me loose.
I also want to report that I have crossed off the first of my long list of goals (see About page). I have officially logged over 20 hours! This number is somewhat significant, since it is the minimum number of hours you need (with 5 solo) to achieve the certificate. It is where I could be if I had not been so often derailed, and able to get consistent regular practice. But, onward and upwards as they say – its not a race. But it is nice to see that I did finally get to 20 hours, even if its not meaningful in any other sense.