Super Cub Sandwich
Holidays, weather and life have impacted on my flying recently but last weekend made up for it.
About 3 years ago, I completed differences training in an Arrow. I then had an hours refresher last year but have never flown it on my own. With the hope of longer flights ahead, we decided to hire the Arrow however, having sat in it recently on the ground, I decided I needed yet another refresher because very little came flooding back.
Last weekend, we went up with an instructor to get to grips with that retractable gear and variable pitch propeller. I went first for a bit of general handling and then some circuits. It was a murky day and within 1200ft I was entering the clouds. All a bit full on – must have an IMC refresher as well! However, at about 3500ft I came out above the clouds into glorious sunshine, played around for a while and then headed back for the circuits that were okay. Then up for another go while my buddy flew and I sat in the back and took far too many pictures of the clouds.
We felt ready to go it alone.
That afternoon, however, I started a new style of flying as I had decided to go for tail dragger training. The week before, I had sat in the Super Cub at White Waltham airfield but it was too foggy to fly. Even that had got the nerves buzzing but I was looking forward to experiencing the differences. Taxiing was interesting and I swung wildly from side to side until I got to grips with the rudder. I happily flew around getting used to the new controls until the third practice stall, with flaps added, where my brain turned to mush and I reversed everything! Even though I just followed the landing through with the controls it felt very lively and I realised then that I would be needing all of the hours that I had booked.
The next day we set off in the Arrow. Timings and uncertain weather took us back to Lee on Solent. My buddy flew first and it was good to talk it through together so that we remembered just about everything – except retracting the first stage of flap! Still, it was a much faster journey and we were on the beach in no time for a stroll in the autumn sunshine.
Then it was my turn, my checklist just didn’t flow at all so my buddy called out his. I do like the precision of an ordered check and it threw me a bit but then I took off with no dramas – and we did eventually remember to retract the flaps! Flying home, the weather was on the change and we chased rainbows all the way.
The speed caught up with me a bit on approaching the Fairoaks circuit but I shall sort that out next time. All in all a very good weekend of flying.
Yesterday, I went back up into the circuit with the Cub. The actual landings were reasonable but regaining control after that was interesting. With no time to think each element through I found I forgot simple things like downwind checks or put power on when I should be reducing. Amazing how changing where the wheel sits on the aircraft can alter so much and addle the brain. The last 2 stop and go landings began to feel a bit more controlled but there is a long way to go yet…