Well, it had been over one month (last logged lesson was April 11) since I had sat in the left seat of a C-172 for training due to travel and too many lessons canceled due to weather. On Monday, May 30th, I took to the sky for a full review of everything I’d learned so far. As it was Memorial Day, I scheduled two lessons back to back, and headed to SCH for that review.
Yes, I had way too much time away from that plane. And too much time NOT in the sky. I felt awkward, and it took quite a while before things came back to me. Takeoffs were still OK, but remembering emergency procedures, power on stalls, and getting the feel for landing again. Man. It was work. A lot of work. It was too long away and I didn’t feel like a pilot – student or otherwise.
Exhausting but worth it. Was back in the sky, and I had to start again somewhere. Right? Right.
We took off out of SCH, and had two simulated engine failures. First one, I landed us at NY0 (funny how that simulated engine out was right near the airport!). We pulled in to check out the bakery, but it was closed, so we sat and watched some aerobatic flight practice for a few minutes and then headed back into the sky. Next simulated engine out was over a grass strip, and I went a bit too long on my final approach to land. If it had been a real emergency, Captain Davies said I may have gone into the trees, but I would have walked away.
Heading back to SCH, I began to feel a bit more confident – a bit more like a student pilot. Some instrument flying, some slow flight, some turns around a point, and some S turns. Good to be back in the sky. Good to be back in the left seat.
Three hours of instruction left me thinking about what I needed to have etched into my brain. What I needed to read, write down, take note of. What I missed the most – just being up there.