Today, Kevin and I flew up to Borrego Valley airport. The plan??? To work on my landings prior to my checkride and to also work on "short field approaches", also known as engine out landings. I had a lot of fun, although one or two were slightly heavy because I misjudged my heaight a wee bit. But I had fun doing the short field approaches. On the first one, Kevin pulled the power on me without telling me and said "Engine failure". So I went through the drill, trimming for best glide speed, spotting the airfield and then checking the fuel tanks on both, fuel mixture is set to rich, carb heat is on, magneto's are on both. All the time I'm doing this, I'm watching my approach back to the airfield.....or area I've chosen to land, to make sure that I canb make it. As soon as I know I can make it then I bring in flap to help loose height. I had to slide slip in to loose height, but I think that's good. Afterall, it's better to be slightly too high than slightly too low.
We headed home and grabbed something to eat. Matt had his "Triple triple burger" from In & Out burger. Since he heard about it a week ago he's planned to have it before he leaves, which is tomorrow sadly. So we got our burgers, and I prepped for the night flight. Since I've done my minimum solo and dual hours I can now fly at night with Kevin to gain my Night Rating. The main advice from Kevin was about depth perception and how it can trick you to think you're at the right height when you're actually too high. I got caught out about twice, and on one occaision Kevin admitted he'd even been caught out on it too. Made me feel less bad after the slightly heavy landing that my instructor even thought it looked OK. But mostly I got the knack of flying at night. The only two things that I noted were that it's harder taxying than flying at night and secondly, for some reason I kept coming in slightly right of the centreline. I never do that during the day, but I asked Matt and he said he noticed the same when he was flying.
I'll do another stint in the afternoon and again a night flight with Kevin, and I'm really looking forward to it. The downside to tomorrow........Matt's leaving for home, which means I'll be on my own for the remainder of the week :-(