Here's the cockpit of the C172 Skyhawk I flew recently with labels added.

My last flight was Saturday. The plan was to fly north to Sherman, TX for practice landings. Our preflight ATIS had wind gusts of 23 mph. The takeoff was scary. A wind gust tipped us upward abruptly causing a stall signal and a swear word or two. The instructor recovered us quickly, thank goodness! On the leg out from Airpark my headset couldn't hear the tower. My instructor had to be my ears. Enroute, we got ATIS from Sherman with wind gusts of 35 mph. My instructor called off practice plans so we headed back. Landing was a bit scary too. The instructor did the landing.

What I learned: get weather info of the destination before takeoff.

I can't fly during the weekdays for 2 weeks while Elliot takes swim classes. I'm good with this. I need review and reading time.

I'm alive!!

I landed the plane 4 times today. Twice it was "oh shit oh shit!!!", twice it was damn near perfect. That's a wide range of what to expect but the point is I CAN land an airplane. YES! Now I just need to practice doing it well more often. :-D

I fly again Thursday with a bit more time to do stuff so we may go to McKinney or North West Airport to practice landing there.

In other news, we met with our family counselor on Monday and received instructions to make a very sharp left turn during the weekend. We'll be turning things upside for Joshua, turning things up for Elliot, and trying to hold it all together with toys, suckers, praise and "the treatment". We won't be going out to public places this weekend unless no one else is expected to be there. Hopefully the intervention will only last a day, maybe two. There's always Sunday if we need it. I'll provide details later.

It's Tuesday and it already feels like my week is almost over.

3 takeoffs - I'm good. I got that down.

3 landings- my first landing was perfect! Even the instructor was impressed that I nailed it on my first attempt today. 2nd & 3rd landings were rough and not graceful. But we walked away so it was still a success!

I also learned today that Cirrus flyers are THOSE types of flyers. Apparently they are entitled to a right-of-way that the rest of us did not earn.

Today we practiced power-off stalls and S-curves. We went over far north Frisco for most of the practice. The power-off stalls were done at 3,500 feet.

Here's the scenario: suppose you're going in for a landing and you realize you're too low so you pull the nose up to get lift without adding power. Let's suppose you know nothing about flight (like me right know) and panic and pull too hard. That could cause a stall. The craft will give a warning sound then will drop the nose. To recover, you apply full power, raise the nose up a little, put the flaps to 10 degrees and fly around to try again.

I was ok at stall recovery. My error was I kept retracting the flaps all the way which made it hard to gain lift.

Next we did S-turns over a few roads. My first couple of attempts were off in my timing. I either straightened up before my target or I overshot my target. My last go-round was perfect though! The instructor said it was spot on. yay me!

Then we came in for landing. I did the landing. We survived. But it wasn't pretty. I didn't pull the nose up far enough. The instructor said I was looking at the approaching ground instead of the end of the runway. He took controls at the very end literally 5 feet from the ground.

Tomorrow we'll practice landing at McKinney Regional. I'm nervous and excited.



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