Good news: I got the skills and the confidence to solo the Citabria. Bad news: Mother Nature decided to kick up the wind.
Well, the second flight was a mess. First, I guess I was back to being a bit nervous. As I taxied up and held short of the runway, I attempted to call tower and state my intentions to do closed traffic. I keyed the mike to identify myself (with my type airplane and the tail number) and said, “Sigh-, Sigh-Sigh…” I was literally staring at the placard in the airplane that said Citabria and tried to get out “Sit” for “Si-Tah-Bree-Ah.” No, instead all I could do was start to say, “Sigh-Tay-Shun” my most recent airplane. Of course everything we said was being recorded because of the documentary, but all transmissions with ATC are not only recorded, they are broadcast. So Kent, or @ flyingcheezhead tweeted, “Funny moment departing #AcroCamp: listening to @GirlsWithWings call tower and not be able to say "Citabria" instead of "Citation." ;-) ROFL”
Alas, now the winds were picking up and were not right down the runway, much less light and variable. No, they were pretty much kicking the left side of my butt. This was fine under normal circumstances, since you need to be able to land the airplane no matter what the weather, but we were short on time and I was not going to get proficient in the time left. “Completely bummed. The wind has cursed my plans for soloing the Citabria.”
Here’s a list of what we did on that last flight (in no particular order, for those of you who are checking for “energy management” compliance):
Reverse Half Cubans
Hammerheads with roll spins (at least I think this is what Don wrote in my logbook) such as the one shown here:
Flat Spins and recovery
Inverted flight and turns
Outside ½ loop and tail slides
Pull Pull Pull and a Pull Push Pull Humpty.
|See it under the wing in this picture?|
|Finally, a picture of my G Meter Hair!|
And the humpties. You can refer to http://www.iac.org/begin/figures.html for a description of all of these maneuvers, but I’ll try my best to explain. The Pull Pull Pull means you pull back on the stick to go straight up. Pull again, to go over the top and straight down, then pull back to level flight. The Pull Push Pull means you pull back on the stick to go vertical, then PUSH to come over the top and head straight down toward the ground – kind of like being in a roller coaster. This was a great way to conclude this camp, because this was my nightmare scenario. I couldn’t imagine having that view – but again, by the end of training, it was a BLAST. (Note: I’m definitely not saying I’d ever go rent an airplane and do this myself – my confidence came from knowing Don OWNED the Pitts, if you know what I mean.)
After the flight, I was wrung out. But because I skipped out on an earlier dinner, I stuck around to have dinner with #AcroCamp crew before I had to drive back to CLE. I wasn’t much fun, I admit. I ordered a huge steak to celebrate my huge achievements, then got in the car to return home. It was definitely time to wake up in my own bed. My next tweet: "CLE arrival 2am post #AcroCamp. Despite my best efforts on trip home, the Honda couldn't execute maneuvers nearly as well as the Pitts.”
Well, that's my adventures at AcroCamp. I hope you enjoyed reading about them as much as I enjoyed having them (fat chance!). Please stay tuned to the AcroCamp blog to find out when the documentary will be released. Check out more pictures at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2084204&id=1453705023&l=21a8ea98e1