Practicing Maneuvers

Aircraft: C172 N52654

Flight Time: 1.1 hours

Total Hours: 30.7

With the weather not clear enough for my long cross country yesterday, I took 654 over to the practice area and brushed up on maneuvers. In preparation for my checkride, I’ll need to go up with my instructor a couple of times and make sure that I’ve got all of my required skills dialed and up to tolerance, and since I need a few hours to reach 40, I figured that an hour of solo practice would be helpful.

By the time I took off, the weather had lifted around Anchorage, so I flew across the Knik arm and began running through the checklist that I had made for myself. I worked on power-on and power-off stall recovery, steep turns, s-turns, turns around a point, emergency landing without power, and forward slips. 

Everything went pretty well, and even though it’s been a few weeks since I’d done some of these maneuvers, I feel pretty comfortable with everything on my list. I know that I’ll have to fine tune some of them so that they meet FAA spec, but that’s what practice time is for. My confidence is growing so much, that it’s almost seeming easy at some points, but I keep that in check when I scan all around the instrument panel to make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be, and when I scan the sky for traffic. 

The only thing that didn’t go quite so well was when I came back to Merrill for landing. I stayed above the required 2,200 feet over the Arm, right over two fighter jets that flew directly underneath me on their Elmendorf approach, but then had I trouble losing enough altitude to get myself low enough on final for runway 7. I even had all the power out with full flaps. That’s the second time this has happened, and since I ended coming in way high, I did a go around. After that, I did two touch and go’s before my full stop landing. I’ll just have to think about and plan that approach better for next time. Overall, my landings continue to improve, although I did have one minor floater this time. Looking at my logbook, I count 39 solo landings up to this point.

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