just telling you some of the things I do.
Period. Take them or leave them. But con-
tinually practicing the little things always
makes me feel better about my flying.
There are a lot of different skill sets
in aviation: IFR, aerobatics, military flying, and formation, to name a few. Here
I’m talking about the basic VFR flying
that a lot of us do in our homebuilts and
Cessnas and Pipers and such. I’m just
trying to spice it up a little with some
Okay, now, while you have that airspeed indicator pegged at 60 KIAS, do
a 180-degree-level turn. Don’t let the
long needle on the altimeter move. Look
outside. Note your radius of turn. Feel
it; enjoy it. After that, do another 180
in the other direction. Nail that one,
too! You’re starting to feel pretty good
about it now, right? You’re perfecting
the little things.
Now, pull the power off and hold the
nose on the horizon, straight-and-level.
The airplane will eventually stall, right?
About as simple as it gets. But don’t
recover right at the first beep of the stall
warning horn (if you have one; I don’t).
Just let the airplane go a little deeper into
the stall: Check the feel, hear the airplane, check for wing drop. Then recover
like you know how. Do
it again. Do it in a turn.
Do it until you feel
about what’s happening and how you are
it. This isn’t flying by some rote numbers
and procedures; this is flying by understanding and knowing. Your understanding
Okay, spins. All manner of apprehen-
sion and hangar talk about them, right? A
lot of it from people who have never done
them. But, hey, if you stall and yaw at the
same time—i.e., an overshot final—there’s
a good chance you’ll enter a spin. If
you’ve practiced spins, it’s more likely
you’ll know how to recover from one. It’s
an age-old argument, I know. Just sayin’.
(And, of course, never do them in an air-
plane that’s not certificated for spins.)
A couple more “for fun” things. Never mind the
names—chandelles and lazy-eights and all that.
Just maneuver the airplane to your comfort level.
Bottom line: In a spin, you lose altitude at
a pretty rapid clip; that happenstance
close to the ground is bad. If your defense
is to be able to recognize stall and yaw
and not let them inadvertently happen to
you, fine. I respect that.