Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

finding the ground

Airplane update: I'm at 16 hours and have yet to do an unassisted landing. I'm close though. It's funny to talk about it with non-pilots, because they're usually like, "Yeah, I bet landings are a tough part of flying." Really they're not a tough part of flying... they are flying. Saying that landings are tough hurdle in flight training is like saying that choosing what ingredients to put in a soup is a tough part of making soup, or that sewing fabric together is a tough part of making clothes.

When you're in the air you're in a lot of air, so we go up there and practice things that will make me able to land. Everything I've done so far applies... we practice handling the airplane in slow flight because on landing, it's slow. We practice finding airspeeds and altitudes because that's what has to be balanced. You land an airplane by getting it into a state where the wings aren't lifting it up anymore... but if it's 10 feet above the ground when this happens, things will be uncomfortable. Same for if it's at the wrong angle or a the wrong place in the runway. So everything is timing and tradeoffs and adjustments and feeling.

There's not much to takeoffs because the airplane is going from a flat controlled place to the air, where there's lots of room. It's like jumping off a cliff... the jump is no big deal. You can jump off any cliff in the world. There's always going to be air there, and you'll always find your place in it. Maybe the Wright brothers had trouble taking off, but ever since then we've been pretty good at making shapes that fly, so it takes a student 2-3 takeoffs to feel okay about it. I was taking off by myself at lesson 3... it didn't look straight and pretty but we were airborne.

In head-case news, I've been feeling pretty good and relaxed lately but last night was funny, because when we got the airplane back to its home there was a crowd of people pushing planes inside the hangar because of the storm coming in, and this guy looks at me walking up and says, "ARE YOU OKAY?" Guess I'm not as chill as I thought! Well, we'd been landing and taking off for an hour and a half, it was tense, requires a lot of focused, maybe I just looked focused still? Nah, probably look freaked out. Good thing I still have like a million hours to go until I get done and can take passengers, I don't think people like when their pilot looks scared.
Tags: flying
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