Flying without Flapping

To be honest, it has been quite the week. On the positive end, Sethary has been crushing his solo time with early morning flights. If you haven’t been keeping up with what he has been posting on insta, it is worth it. But if you’ve followed us at all you’ll know that, while this adventure is truly worth it, flying isn’t all crisp sunsets and cloud hopping.

This week is no exception. Thursday, one of the planes at our airport was broken in to and the avionics stack was stolen. This is really rare and there is some hope of footage of the perpetrator, but it is none-the-less a big blow. Seth was actually there when the discovery was made, and we have both spoken with the owner. It is impressive how well they are keeping it together.

As with any community, negative things do happen, but the community bands together.

In other news, Seth completed his night cross-country. Next time you talk with him, ask him whether or not you’re supposed to land on the runway or beside it… He may have forgotten. Ha!

It did go very well though, and his flight planning is, as the kids say #OnFleek.

Don’t tell him, but I’m impressed.

I was able to get out on Friday and Saturday as well, where we focused on stalls, slow flight, emergency procedures, ground reference, soft-field techniques, and no-flap landings.


If you don’t know, flaps are built in to the wings close to the fuselage. They are extended primarily during landing as a way to slow the plane down.

When you’re landing without flaps, you will approach the runway with a slightly higher speed and the aircraft will glide much more efficiently. As a result, the tendency is to overshoot your target. I succeeded in doing this a few times. #winning.

If you do find yourself overshooting you can put the plane into a slip, which is where you step in full rudder to yaw the plane to one side while steering the yoke in the opposite direction to rotate the plane, maintaining your ground track. What this does is reduce your lift, allowing you to drop altitude quickly without having to dive.

I tried this for the first time on the first landing Saturday… yeah, it didn’t go well. If you’re interested, here is a short (read: OMG I don’t have 30 min of my life to spend on this…) video with some of the highlights from the flight.

It’s fine, skip around. You’ll get the gist.

Returning, Seth greeted me with news that there is a spot for us to place a locker near our new tie-down spot. The catch? We just have to move a broken refrigerator…

If anyone is interested, please search Craigslist for: “Mint condition, perfect in every way refrigerator paperweight for free, just pick it up.”

We also played around with the seats in our plane a bit. They are recliners. And by ‘recliners’ I mean you have the choice of sitting either “completely straight up” or “effectively completely straight up.” Cessna was all about the options in their aircraft.

Seth also brought out his new ADS-B receiver (a gadget that alerts you of other traffic in the area if that traffic is equipped with an ADS-B transmitter). It may have already saved him from playing a game of ‘tag’ with a helicopter…

As Seth was taking off, I bumped in to a group of Y-Guides who were camping at the airport for the weekend. The original plan was just to say hi.

But then I heard a bus was stuck in the mud.

And an old firetruck was going to be used to pull it out.

Yeah, I had to watch… And no, your eyes are not deceiving you. The roof of the bus HAS been lifted.

The bus was successfully freed, but one of the Dad’s did fall on the way back to the camp site. Luckily, I was on hand to diagnose his injury: “Dayum, that doesn’t look good.”

Hopefully it is just a sprain. If it is any consolation, at least his ankle is now ‘swol’. According to the kids these days, this is a good thing.

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