It is mid morning October 8th; we are heading out for another test flight. Today we have two objectives in mind. We are going to make sure that the deficiencies from the previous flight are no longer there, and I needed my type check ride done to be legal for solo.
This time all went well. We still have to reroute the wiring for the fuel instruments, but everything else worked as expected. Once again, we were amazed how nonchalantly the plane behaves in a stall. It just descends at around 500 feet per minute, nose high, straight down, no tendency to drop its wing. Michael decided to get the plane really angry with him, and pulled it into a 45 degree aggravated stall turn – nothing. The plane just leveled itself off, and entered into the customary, and leisurely, stall descent. At this point Michael pronounced the plane to be very boring, and an old man’s plane. I am not sure if he had me in mind or not, but I guess since I will be 68 in a few days, I kinda qualify.
On the check ride, and under Michael’s watchful eye, I performed the prescribed manoeuvres, including a forced landing approach. On the approach, I discovered why Mr. Piper decided to omit the flaps from the Colt. They are simply not required. This plane is smart enough to know that when you pull the power, you want to go down. I must have done OK, because Michael signed me off, and I am now legal to fly anywhere I want. Charged up, and being legal for solo once again, I went up in the afternoon for some airport work, and again the next day.
Not being use to fly high wing planes any more, I am having a bit of a problem on
approach. Since I do not see the runway in a turn, due to the wing being in the wrong place, sometime I turn wide and overshoot. Compared to the Katana with its bubble canopy, and to which I am more accustomed to, sitting in the Colt feels like having an oversized baseball cap on. In addition, the Colt is definitely not a floater. I fly my landing approaches with some power, and at about 60 knots. This seems to work for me now, but I may be a bit too fast. I will work on the speed as I get a better feel for the plane. After some circuit work, my landings are getting definitely better, also the overshoot of the runway is rare now; however, I think I should recover the wing with Plexiglas – or not.