I have a problem…

…I don’t like to flare. If  was in the Navy, then I wouldn’t have to worry about it. But alas, I fly civilian general aviation so flare I must.

What Line up and Wait Looks Like

What Line up and Wait Looks Like

But since you are still reading this, let’s dig into the deeper psychology of why I don’t like to flare. I am able to judge the aim point to reach the runway. I use a saying I learned from Chris to do this. It goes a little something like, “aim point, airspeed aim point, airspeed, a-hole.” So loving. I got over the anxiety of pointing the aircraft at the ground on final to make my textbook 3 degree glide slope. Except when I don’t and then proceed to forward slip the aircraft to the runway. Once I get to the runway I bring the aircraft level in preparation for landing but as I start sinking I don’t pull the nose up high enough and soon enough for my instructor. I like to make every landing sporty (except for my first solo landing). It keeps my instructor on his toes. He needs to earn the Benjamins.

My lack of flare was on my mind during my third solo. (I am going to Tarantino this and talk about my second solo in the next paragraph.) I had to fly out the East Practice Area (EPA) do some maneuvers and fly back for touch and goes. I had decided I was going to do 3 good landings and call it a day. My nerves were already shot from the turbulence I experienced to and from the EPA. Everything seemed to be okay for the first landing but I had the nose too high, bounced once and dumbly released the back pressure on the yoke. The airplane bounced again on all the tires for a tricycle landing. I would have bounced a third time but I gave it full power and took off. Well, that landing was a hot mess. I did 3 more landings and managed to not bash the nose of the plane into the ground and put the plane away with 1.3 hours on the Hobbs meter.

My second solo was 3 touch and goes in the pattern. It would have looked a lot like my first solo, if I had done all three landings. This time I did make all the landings without any emergencies. It started out a little rough. After talking to clearance delivery, I talked to ground, as usual. This time though I didn’t have the current ATIS. The controller gave me permission to taxi and told me to get the current ATIS. It wasn’t this clear when I heard it on the radio so I began the taxi from the Aero Club while changing me radios to get the current ATIS. I was almost to the taxiway, when my instructor broke in on the radio and said, “Nicole you don’t have permission to taxi.” He was as confused as I was with the controller. What he didn’t know was, I was going to stop before I got to the taxiway and clarify with the controller. I did have taxi permission and with the current ATIS I taxied to runway for takeoff. The controller changed runways and traffic patterns for every landing. There was also jet traffic wake turbulence I had to avoid and landed long. The landings were decent. After I taxied off the runway, I was given permission to taxi toward a F-16 taxing the other way. Not wanting to die, I stayed in place until he had passed. But all in all, pretty uneventful.

So I am still working on the flare.

Gratuitous Plane Selfie

Gratuitous Plane Selfie

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4 responses to “I have a problem…

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