Archer rating continued...

It was a good thing I had two lessons booked. Fog had closed out any flying till at least 10.30am. My 11am flight around the circuit with Greg did go ahead (after we had cleared all the ice off the wings and tail). Greg said that today we would work on cockpit drills and circuit flying.

It seemed that everyone wanted to go up at one. There were 4 aircraft operating in the circuit at the time we were cleared to depart, but the real bad news was that we were faster than all of them. I think by the time we had completed one circuit we had pretty much caught up to the 172 ahead of us. Some carefully placed radio diplomacy with the tower saw us get ahead into clear air and I allowed myself to worry more about flying than maintaining sequencing. I said previously that the checks that I spent so long learning in the Cessna still apply to the Piper, its just that now I have to add the fuel pump and tank switching into my routine. I still had problems remembering carb heat (since the lever is partially hidden its hard to tell whether its on or off based on a simple scan) and generally my approaches were still too low. As is usual for me, I saved my best landing for the last one of the day. Greg said he was happy for me to fly around the circuit and the problems with my handling mainly come from a lack of familiarity with the controls. Just like last time, I can fly the plane fine, its the finer points that still elude me. It reminds me of the time I had a bad lesson early on in my training and I drove home stewing over it before I realised I had driven halfway home "without consciously thinking about it". It was the same thing today. I got into a Cessna to take the brother in law for a scenic flight and all the checks were there when I needed them and I didn't forget a thing. For some reason that makes me feel better about getting the rating eventually because its now just a matter of time rather than wondering if I'll ever "get it".

Next weekend I've got an hour of solo circuits before another checkout with Greg. If all goes well then it'll be a max all up weight check and then I'll be able to take the Archer out with passengers.

And just for another surprise, I was sitting waiting for the brother in law to arrive after my Archer lesson when I heard a sound that could only be a turbojet. I looked outside in time to see a L29 and a L39 (both warbird trainers) do a low level pass side by side down the runway. They then banked away and joined downwind to land. Those turbojets really do howl. What a sight!