The other day I was out flying with my instructor reviewing soft field procedures. We were doing circuits on runway 25, and on the turn from the downwind to base leg of the circuit, we were hit with strong turbulence every time. The leg goes close to the river so we assumed it was something to do with that. It was a bit much for me and I lost my concentration, so I kept coming in too high and fast. After a few we landed and the controller immediately announced a runway change to runway 16. I decided that I still wanted to try it, given that the circuits we did on 25 weren’t really that great.
After takeoff from runway 16 the turbulence hit us again only a few hundred feet AGL. I decided that it was probably best to ask for a full stop and end the lesson. The turbulence was too distracting and kept me from being able to concentrate on the maneuver. Inadvertently on the landing again, I came in too high. So my instructor told me to use a forward slip – which is something that I’ve done numerous times – but I hesitated and my mind went blank. I eventually did it, but think this is a procedure I need to practice still, particularly when I go solo.
What is a forward slip?
It is a turn that is prevented by use of rudder. The airplane moves in straight, drag inducing position that increases rate of descent and doesn’t increase airspeed – because of all the drag that is created by the airplane in that configuration. The aileron holds the bank while the opposite rudder causes the nose to point in the other direction.
To enter a forward slip, power to idle, turn the aircraft into the wind, and use opposite full rudder. The configuration feels somewhat awkward to me since the airplane is steeply banked and pointing in the other direction. Like everything in flying, it is all about practice until it feels natural!
Another thing is I REALLY need to start bringing my camera and maybe my video camera to my flights! I am always too lazy to take photos but it is great to have them particularly so I can share them here.