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My Unusual Attitide Course

Guest drizzt1978

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Guest drizzt1978

Sunday morning saw me arrive at Lillydale Airport for some Training in the AirTourer with David Pilkington.




For some time now I had been concerned that my training would not be enough if things went wrong. Also I allways have felt very scared (yes i admit it) when getting a high angle of bank or practising stalls. I felt the best way to be more comfortable would be to experience some strange situations and do some mild aerobatics.




Firstly David spent perhaps, 20 mins calmly asking me what I wanted to experience and then going over each situation in detail. Demonstrating at times with the model plane. David alo aked a few in depth questions; I realized at this point that my knowledge of why an aircraft stalls needs some work, when you start thinking of things like If i am in a 90 degree bank angle doing xyz is there any risk of stalling. It really made me think about how much my understanding of the stall needed more revision. I have to think more in the third dimension, I wont go into too much detail here for else this thread will be hijacked to the nature of the stall.




We then went and got out the airtourer, did all the checks and spent time learning about the plane and all its "bells and whistles" The smell of the cockpit remined me of a 1969 Jaguar! After a quick stop at the fuel bowser, radio calls and pre take off checks. We then taxied up to the the runway, and away we went. My take off roll was ok, I was suprised at the lack of power to be honest and I pulled back a litlle early, stall warning blowing we were up, I put the nose down for some speed and then out we climb, little bit embarassing but overall not bad for a first go.




At the correct alttitude and area, we started with mild stalls and then more agressive, with the interesting one being to yank the stick back mid turn. All very intresting. The calm manner in which it was all done was great.




We then went into some Chandeles followed by some wingovers, after doing a few (exposure therapy is great) I quite enjoyed it and realized that there was no mysterys to it, all quite logical.




We then went into some barallel rolls. At first I thought Oh boy here we go, but Davids first one was so quick and gracefull It hardly registered, I was like "wow is that it, that wasnt to bad....that was awesome" I was also suprised that we had only done just close to 1.5 g's.


Helped me realise that what ever i throw at a Jab or the like is so far away from what it can handle in the g department. (no not aeros! Bad weather, step descending turns etc)




We then did some Aileron rolls, once again David's demonstration left me very impressed.


I gave it a shot and as we became inverted, something strange happened, the checklist/manual ended up on the roof, my headset tried to come off and i realized that we were invereted and diving, Then I could here a calm voice saying, "stick foward, foward, more foward, keep rolling it out, ok there we go" and then we were up the right way, headset came off, and i was a little shaken. David explained that the nose had been to low at the mid point and we had gone into an inverted dive, which he had showed me how to recover. (possibly helped cant remember!!!)




We then decided that would be all and we went back home. I managed to get us back on the ground, A bit rough but all in all not bad.













David then gave me a debrief and explained how a wing works when it is inverted, and what had happened in my little bit of excitment. David also went over the importance of balanced turns, and the relationship to stalling.... I am looking foward to my next lesson where we will look at the dreaded SPINS! I was once terrified but I am really looking foward to it.




Overall this was an amazing experience. My confidence in what to do if something went wrong is greatly increased. I can recommend this to anyone who wants to see what can be done if need be (in the right plane) For me it was a matter of just experiencing these unusual attitudes and haveing and understanding that I can do what is required it need be; and the world wont come to a grinding halt when i am upside down...




My only drama is, "Do I convert to GA for more!" I think the answer with this for the time being is to do a few hours of aerobatics every year or two with an instructor, for a freshen up.




Take care All:






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Great post Michael.


Id really like to do some unusual attitude recovery stuff before I start instructing, but also just for my general handling and flying confidence..


I remember a few years back and Id been riding motorbikes for a while and thought i had it down ok but then I went and did an advanced riding course, and realised I was a minnow in the skill department at best.


I have to say that even if you never want to fly GA, get stuck into the GA theory.Ive been currently studying CPL aerodynamics, and I must admit there is a large hole in my knowledge(which Im trying to fill) about flight and air and wings and how it all works, and im convinced that i will be a better pilot with more knowledge of what it is exactly that makes it all happen, and also what stops it happening.


I might have to head out to YLIL myself and have a bash:thumb_up:



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Great stuff, and something I intend to do once I've got my RAAus cert in my pocket. Like you, I'm sometimes worried about how I'd react to a really unusual attitude (beyond stall ± wing drop or spiral dive) so I think it's really important to experience those things in a controlled situation.


Plus the Victa Airtourer is such a nice old part of Australian aviation history - I've had a good look over it in the hangar several times and would love the opportunity to fly it.



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EMT or U/A and instructing.


It would be quite ridiculous to consider yourself an instructor if you haven't done this training. How would you have the knowledge. Can the blind lead the blind?. Pilots who have not done this cannot know what their craft or they are capable of . What if you encounter a dust devil? Of course this also applies to the ordinary pilot., too. let's get a bit real here.. Nev



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Great story Michael, I enjoy reading about people challenging themselves and overcoming the fear of the unknown. The first session of going beyond 45 or 60 degree angle of bank or more than 10 degrees nose up or down can be a bit daunting if you're used to and comfortable with straight and level.


You're first attempt at a roll resulting in a pause mid way through (and ending up inverted) is pretty normal reaction for most pilots, I did it on my first attempt and have seen and heard of others do the same...must be something in the mind of the straight and level pilot that clicks and says "this doesn't look right, stop it!"...which seems to happen about half way or three quarters of the way through the roll. Getting comfortable with it is an individual thing, some take to it quickly and others never get comfortable with it.


It sounds like you enjoyed your first session and you've found a very capable instructor to ride with...be careful though, you might just get addicted to flying anything other than straight and level...I know I am!


And Nev, I'm with you, any instructor that has not undertaken (or able to instruct) EMT or aerobatic training is missing a whole lot of skill and experience that they should have and be able to pass on...personal opinion of course.



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Guest drizzt1978

Thanks Mat, Your CT-4A looks very nice, did a bit of research on it after i saw one (yours i think) at Kyneton about 6 months ago.


IT was about the third or fourth inverted that went wrong! David thinks I just gave it a little jerk right when i shouldn't have, but the recovery made the day, as that type of situation presenting itself has all ways worried me!



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For an affordable introduction to unusual attitudes, try a visit to your local gliding club. Before you go solo, you are trained in recovery from fully developed spins, etc. It also gives you a slightly slower rotation,etc which gives you a better oportunity to come to grips with why the world is turning and why it is so suddenly went from under you to above you.


Gliding won't be breaking the bank and gliders are allowed to do aerobatics (with the right training and endorsements of course).


I think an Trial Instructional Flight would give you exposure to some aerobatics so long as you had a chat with the instructor first.





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I think an Trial Instructional Flight would give you exposure to some aerobatics so long as you had a chat with the instructor first.PeterT

Yes! very true, I'm meaning to get out and go and do some more sometime...


Fortunately my instructor is an Aerobatic glider instructor as well, so that is a real plus!:thumb_up:



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