Sunday, January 01, 2006

I bounce so much, I should buy a trampoline!

The weather cleared enough today to let me get out and make some practice takeoffs and landings. I flew down towards southwest Ohio first, just to take a look at some of the scenery. It's hilly down there, and mostly wooded. It's a nice change from the completely flat area around Columbus.

Nice sky!

My first landing at Madison Co. was an abomination. I flared it in from about 6' up, resulting in a series of very large bounces. These were the ones that are so high, you worry about letting the plane drop from up there. In cases like this, I give it a burst of power at the top of the bounce to flatten it out. This landing was a 3-burster: probably a new record. I wanted to buy gas while I was there, but didn't relish the idea of getting out of the plane in front of a group of guys that had at a minimum heard the commotion I was making out on the runway. I decided to taxi back, take off, and try another landing. On the way out, some character in a Cessna pulled out his hangar right in front of me. It's a terrible idea to get in front of a taildragger and expect the guy driving it to yield. Why? Because he probably can't see you!

The next landing was better, but still not good. The third was the charm. I think I was flaring too high on the first two, which is likely caused by the disparity in runway widths between MadCo and the more familar Bolton. Bolton's runway is twice as wide, so the narrower runway at MadCo makes it look like I'm lower (closer to the runway) than I actually am, so I flare high. The trick to not doing this is to look at the very end of the runway and gauge height from that, but that doesn't always work either. It was a bit windy with a gusty crosswind from the right, and I could feel little gusts in the flare, ti which I over-responded with the stick. Finally, back at Bolton I had one of those landings that are so smooth you can feel the wheels starting to roll as they brush across the concrete.

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