Again: FLAME PROOF JACKET AT THE READY.
I've kinda mentioned this with my instructor and it is in no way meant to show any ill thoughts on what was said.
I am only wanting to LEARN.
The other week I did 42 minutes of circuits to "keep my hand in".
YWOL, me, J230, first stage flaps, runway 34.
Starting at THE southern end of 34, I am off the ground BEFORE the cross runway. Climing at about 800 FPM!
I am nearly at circuit height mid field! By runway end at worst. Well, I can stretch it out if I keep the nose down.
I did about 7 circuits. Some good, a couple of "multiple landings" (bounces) but nothing serious. The plane wasn't damaged and all is good........
But is it? (No, I don't mean I think it is dangerous, or anything like that.)
That's why I am here, now asking/thinking/talking.
Doing circuits is testing. Especially if you haven't flown in a while. Trim is not really kept "set" as for take offs it is "FULL FORWARD and back a crack".
Now, I accept that performance changes with every flight: Fuel, PAX, "cargo" and so on. So all you can do is practice with what you have at the time..... No prizes for guessing/know that.
I learnt to fly in a Gazelle. TOTALLY different plane. TOTALLY! The processes were also different in what I was told and why. I'm not going into that. It is a whole other can of worms - to me. Don't bring it up in replies, as I can't "process it" as applicable. Be it "true" or otherwise.
First off I have realised that I need to learn the landing curve of the Jab. But more so I need to get the landing "angle" (and I'll get back to that in a sec) right. *1
Although engine failure landings are needed and all that, the whole "landing a jab" is different to "landing a gazelle". How it was explained to me was that (and there is no offence to any plane meant here... Read it all first) A gazelle is a lower performance plane than a jab. So landing a gazelle is "easier" than a jab.
Well, taking it a bit to the the extreme: A gazelle is a brick and a jab is a sheet of ply wood (flat).
Where you start your descent in a gazelle: You are landing "in front" of where you are pointing.
A jab - how ever - you are landing........ "out there". Pointing forwards, somewhere. *2
So, when I am flying my circuits and hap-hardly getting the base/final altitudes all 'wrong', I need to first off set myself a "rate of descent" I want to use in the jab. Let's say 500 FPM.
I was told to "watch the angle between the lane and the runway" - which is a great idea: once you have said angle. I'll try to get back to that later too.
So in keeping with my 500FPM approach to the runway - and gee isn't it GREAT we have GPS's! - I'm going to have to set a 500 FPM rate of descent and fly around (when low traffic) the southern end of the runway and find the point at which I am on the glide slope. (Ha! Yeah, good luck)
Then start an approach and mentally mark the place when I am 500 AGL. That is the point where I need to be when turning base to final.
Hopefully: From there on in, I can locate that place: know I should be at 500 AGL and know what the plane needs to be doing to "make the runway".
As you can surmise: This is going to take a few attempts to get right.
But I think it is the best way to get things established in my mind the positional awareness of the plane when landing.
So every flight is different! Yikes! What does that mean??!!
Well, if you are low houred, it can be frightening when you go off with a "loaded plane" and a mate on a weekend trip...... You are used to flying solo and empty. All the landing stuff you practice won't "work" now. Or will it?
Well, I can't say, but rest assured, it should help you.
Although the plane is heavier than usual, you have "established" the patterns in your mind of what things should look like when landing.
Try to concentrate on the runway, rather than surrounding things. As these change from place to place and therefore won't "work" at every airport.
But that's not to say you shouldn't!
By all means when you are doing circuits at your local airport, use these things. But then consciously turn and look at the runway. THIS IS WHAT I SHOULD SEE!
This way you establish the patterns.
You use the land marks to "check yourself" then you look at the runway and set that as what it should look like.
Doing this over and over will help imprint in your mind the picture of what you need to see to be "on the ball" for a good landing.
So, back to the "away trip with a loaded up plane and a mate".
Where does all that fit in?
Well, as the way of landing has slightly changed to how I was told/practised, you know where the runway should be as you are coming in to land.
If it is high: power. If it is low: well, pull back more on the throttle and/or more flaps. Of course: If you are too high: GO AROUND!
But you have the "looks" in your mind and they will help you check your height/distance to the runway.
So back to me and my circuits:
I've take off, cross wind, down wind. Passed the end of the runway. Power back and start to slow.
Turn base, start descent..... and so on.
Turn final.... Usually I am way too high.
But I haven't established the "correct" (desired) rate of descent and airspeed. See earlier.
Anyway: I get down near the runway. I'm coming in steep-ish and at about 60-70 kts.
Even the SLIGHTEST adjustment pulling back on the stick the plane goes from -400 FPM to +200 FPM .
Now, ok, I am saying "SLIGHTEST" when really I could be more articulate and more the stick less......
But that is where the practise comes in. That is another 7 minutes away!
I admit I need to fine tune that a bit more. People have mentioned the TRIM, but seriously: That is making a difficult situation more complicated. For the 7 minutes in the circuit, the "extra" pressure required on the stick is neither here or there.
I know that if it is a long flight I would set the trip and so the amount of pressure would be different. But that is PRESSURE and not the DISTANCE the stick needs to be moved. So I am at odds with that way of thinking.
I hope someone - somewhere - has found this "rant" helpful.