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Lesson 35: It's on again!

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At 1pm today the sky was completely cloudless, it was about 17 degrees and there was not a breath of wind as I checked out the Piper Warrior I would be flying. I have a new instructor too, an ex-Brindabella instructor named Peter, who is working in conjunction with Goulburn Aviation to establish a new school here in Canberra. Let me start by saying that the Warrior is a really nice plane to fly. I really enjoyed it. Especially seeing as this one has a brand new engine. Today was actually the first day Peter had ever flown it too as the Canberra Aero club has only recently picked it up.

Anyways ... we flew out to the Barton training ground with the intention of me getting the feel for flying again. On the way out we had to dodge a fast moving, silver painted thing that was on a reciprocal heading. ATC had it flying all over the sky by changing the runway they were setting it up on but I eventually found it about 1000 foot over our head and crossing us left to right. Once it had gone by we climbed to 6000 feet, from our 4000, and got down to work. First up I did a left and right 30° turn, then upped the anty with two 45° steep turns, one in each direction. That is all that is officially required but Peter asked if I wanted to try 60°. I did, and they went fairly well given I haven't flown in 6 months. A 60° steep turn requires you pull 2g when it's done properly.

After the steep turns I put the plane through 2 clean stalls and 2 dirty stalls before it was time to head back to the airfield. Once back we did 2 circuits after the initial touch and go, so 3 landings in all. By this time the afternoon breeze had come up and there was a bit of a variable crosswind that made me work a bit but I was very happy with my landings. They were so much smoother than I normally manage. I don't know why.

That was it really. Peter reckons my flying was quite reasonable given I haven't flown for 6 months. We talked about things for a while afterwards, mostly that flying is all about attitude (the plane's this time, not mine). I do need to brush up on my checklist acronyms though as they have gotten a bit rusty. The next session will be my long awaited first navigation exercise. I am seriously looking forward to that one!

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Thanks Jay. I get a kick out of hearing that other people are enjoying them.

I feel very privileged that life has been kind enough to allow me to do this, I can tell you.

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