01 April 2011

CFI Training 3: Slow Flight Review

Another flight lesson. This time we did slow flight: stalls, turns during slow flight. I had almost totally forgotten about the area of reverse command. Which, when entering a stall in straight and level flight one reduces power and airspeed. However, as the airspeed drops below Vx (best angle of climb) the plane requires more power to maintain altitude, this is the area of reverse command. We worked turns around a point, emergency power off landings (more on this in a bit), steep turns and maintaining straight, level, and coordinated flight using visual queues (out side the cockpit). One thing my CFI pointed out was that I look at the gauges far too often. This naturally relates to the fact that I am an IFR pilot and go to the gauges frequently. This is a bad thing for an instructor due to the fact that students (especially engineers and technical students) will also start to depend on instruments for flight reference.

More on power off landings: As a CFI, or any instructor/teacher, you want to teach to the highest level of learning, correlation. The four levels include rote, understanding, application, and correlation. I mention all of this because I had a moment of transitioning from understanding to correlation just today. My CFI asked me to "demonstrate" power off landings while instructing him how it's done. So we pulled the power at 3000ft above pattern altitude about 1NM from the airport. I started circling around a point to loose altitude then entered down wind abeam the numbers. on final I was still very high so I did slips and S-turns. Afterward I realized something I had never been told or put together before: Do the turns around a point at the abeam the numbers point. This helps ensure exiting the turns at the proper altitude for landing safely without engine power. It also makes the pattern, final approach and entire landing easier and safer. This realization was a moment of correlation.

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