Current again, sort of

Well 3 circuits later I am legally current in the Pa28 200R. The conditions were trying, 10 knots on the ground, 35 knots at 2000 feet and a nice fat sheer zone in the middle where you are trying to fly. Approaches were better than expected, checks were all there when needed, but I've noticed a new sensation creeping in which I have never experienced before, which is a sense that you are falling behind the plane mentally. Normally you need an instructor in that detached zen-like state of calm to look over at you and say after seemingly spending most of the circuit gazing wistfully out the window, "you're a bit behind the plane aren't you?"

It was certainly an odd feeling to notice it myself. I ended up verbally coaching my approaches and that seemed to help. I guess I still had some spare brain capacity tucked away which kicked in when needed.


PropellerHead said…
That weather again - I went up over to Raglan in DQV on Thursday and it was pretty bumpy and a challenging approach back in to 36R at Hamilton with 10 knots at 090. My landing would have been OK if I had flared a touch earlier - I think all three wheels grounded pretty much together. Still, makes you appreciate the good days more, eh?
Oshawapilot said…
I'm going up sometime in the next few weeks for the first time in about 3 years... I'll be interested to see exactly how rusty I am - I expect to be behind the aircraft bigtime. :)
Flyinkiwi said…
Good to hear from you again Mark. Yeah flying is definitely not like riding a bike, you need to maintain your currency. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on your performance after the trip.

I agree Barry, but every time you experience a day like that, your personal minimums come down just that little bit more. Still, I give you cudos for doing crosswinds in the Arrow - I am too afraid of sideloading the gear to try it, but thats not to say I wouldn't do it if I needed to.
PropellerHead said…
Thanks, Euan. I think if it had been any more than 10 knots I would have been asking for 07 to land on. I did my cross-wind BFR in the Arrow about this time last year and it was about 12-15 knots which was "fun" and i did OK but I had Roger in the right hand seat. 10 knot absolute maximum then, I reckoned then and the other day more or less confirmed that.
I find it's not so much the cross wind itself - I have been fine with a steady 12 knots before - it's gustiness and variability that is the problem, particularly with a bit of shear close to the ground which can make it "interesting"
Flyinkiwi said…
Successful crosswind landings are all about nailing the approach, indeed an instructor would most likely say the above is true for any landing.

Next time you are up in a 172 try doing crosswind glide approaches, they'll put hair on your chest if its gusty. :-)
Ben said…
I love flying in a PA28 - I flew one at EGKA Shoreham!