Bob and I took to the skies again Saturday, July 9th in the afternoon. We were concerned that the thunder storms would develop again as they have done most of the week but we were blessed with some beautiful weather for the hour flight.
I had the aircraft all pre-flighted before Bob arrived and we taxied out to rwy 13 for a south departure to practice area D. From today on I work the radios. This turned out to be a non stressful task as I've had some experience flying VATSIM (http://www.vatsim.net/) with Delta Virtual Airlines and knew the jargon and what was expected. Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flying uses a little different communication phrases and the Cessna 172 is a lot different than the turbojet aircraft I'm used to in a simulator but communications are communications and it has been good practice.
We practiced ascending and descending turns as well as controlling airspeed with pitch and altitude with power. This is not immediately intuitive and takes some getting used to but I think I'll be fine. Again the aircraft performed well (except for my COMs... a lot of static at high RPM) and there were no problems or concerns. I'm having Flight-Deck Avionics do some panel modernization work and I'll have them look at the radios when they pull the panel out next week.
My landing today... not good. I flared far to high and the landing turned into a mess even though it was salvaged a bit down the runway. I'm sure the controller in the tower got a good laugh out of that one. I need to learn to not be too eager to flare that soon, a habit I'm sure I picked up from landings in large turbojet aircraft (simulated of course).
All in all it was a great afternoon. They say you gain back those minutes you spend piloting an aircraft... I plan to cash in and live forever.