Saturday, July 09, 2005

Complication contest, part 2

So my two most life-complicating students squared off today in successive battles for the championship. The result: undetermined, rematch set for later in the week.

Both flights went a little better than I expected them to. Perhaps being in a hurry helps me keep either of them from talking too long. They both have that tendency. The dethroned queen has a tendency to talk about everything that hits her mind, whether relevant to the conversation or not. This causes her to talk so much, she interrupts herself routinely. The new champ seems to want to explain to me things that I already know. I mentioned on our first meeting that sometimes- but not always- Microsoft Flight Simulator or something akin to it, will help a student learn faster. Moreso for the instrument than the private though. Within that conversation, I made it clear that I had played on it plenty. Still, he feels the need to explain to me how it works, and that I should get a copy.

Still, both flights were good. On the first, we went over the stalls and slow flight again, whihc always requires a little backtracking with her, but she seems to be improving quite a bit. Following that, I introduced the short-field landing procedure, and she learned that one quickly, almost perfectly hitting her spot on both tries. If she will focus on the details of the maneuvers, and start taking seriously the need to learn how to judge distance and direction, I think we could have a checkride in the relatively near future.

The other flight, though not going according to any normal plan for a second lesson, taught him plenty. We had a mission: to get aerial photos of three cell tower sites, all located near Richmond, about 70 miles away. We took off into very hazy skies, with turbulence, and a decent bit of cloud-avoidance maneuvering near the mountains. Some cumulonimbus clouds were already starting to form, so I didn't want to waste any time. He was having trouble even holding straight and level, which is not a surprise for a second lesson, but I think he grasped most of the concepts I threw at him. After returning, we did two landings, and the second was mostly him. Not too shabby for having only been witness to two previous landings. Oddly enough, I think he is going to have more trouble with the takeoffs than the landings. But as soon as he learns to taxi a bit more smoothly, perhaps that will not be an issue.

A busy day, but it turned out good.


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