Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:16 am
I'm not an instructor, and definitely not a sky god, but here's what I found FWIW…
I flew yesterday, it was a post maintenance check flight and return to home base, a short flight from Gloucester to Lydeway. I gave the aeroplane a thorough pre-flight as there had been some work involving control runs and rigging. The perspex was a bit dusty, but I hadn't taken my mircofibre or Pledge. It wasn't bad, but could have been cleaner.
I have lots of time in the C182, but sitting in the cockpit before start it didn't feel as familiar as it usually does. I deliberately checked everything was where I wanted it to be, no lose objects etc. I wouldn't normally be as thorough in the 182 (my bad perhaps), but I was trying to reduce any non-flying workload.
There was a pick up admin issue and a minor starting issue that had the potential to distract. Sitting on the ramp with the engine running I deliberately set those minor frustrations to one side before moving off.
There was a slightly gusty crosswind for departure, but nothing that would bother a C182. Take off, climb out and setting course was straightforward. It was good to be back in the air. When I say straightforward, I should mention that I initially forgot to close the cowl flaps in the cruise, and only remembered when wondering why the CHTs were lower than usual.
I'd had some autopilot warranty work, so ran a few initial checks on that - headings, modes and a hold. I didn't check the ESP (Electronic Stability and Protection), that will be for a future flight.
Back at the strip the crosswind was a bit more cross (R28 instead of R27), but the main challenge was the weather. Sods law meant that a very light shower materialised when I was on final. Remember that dusty perspex? That, and the shower conspired to smudge my forward view. It all worked out fine, but I could have done without it.
What did I learn? (remember, I'm not an instructor)
- Despite literally thousands of hours in that very C182, it still felt a bit unfamiliar
- I should have cleaned the screen. Mental note to make sure there's always a clean microfibre and a can of appropriate cleaner in the aeroplane
- It worked for me to deliberately set aside external frustrations, leaving my limited capacity to focus on the flight
- Happy to have been alert enough to pick up low CHTs, a bit miffed to have forgotten the cowl flaps
- That flight was just the start of a return to currency for me
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