Amal’s Adventures at Tailwheel Town

Amal Ajmi, our 2015 Stick & Rudder Master Class scholarship winner, has completed her course with Brian Lansburgh and is back home in Alaska. From all reports, it was a fantastic experience for Amal and a heck of a lot of fun for Brian. Many thanks to Amal for encompassing so well her time at Tailwheel Town.

Amal’s Adventures at Tailwheel Town

My fellow pilots. Have finally recouped and am ready to share with you the wonders of advanced training and periodic hand-slapping. I have come to appreciate those that are older and wiser; those that care about my development as a safe pilot and want to see me come home at the end of the day….there are so many of you…thank you for watching over me and chastising or consoling when I need……

Amal Ajmi 2

Am not sure about others, but I pick up bad habits, trying to save time here, or push the envelope there…..I know some are questionable and so I brought a list with me to T-town to see if they should be thrown out, modified or polished off. All I can say is WOW!!!!! I did all three.

Amal Ajmi 7

That which was thrown out was a doosie!!! I think it would have ended me right quick. The scary thing about it was that it was not what I thought it was. Fellow pilots, again I don’t speak for anyone but myself, but KNOW the DIFFERENCE between a SKID and a SLIP!!!!!! It is simple I know, but apparently I didn’t get the lesson. This year I have been pulling gnarly “slips” from downwind to final trying to practice getting into tight spots…..losing a bunch of altitude without a gain in speed. Since I have no flaps….slips are the only option……Only what I was really doing were wonky, dangerous SKIDS!!!!! Yeah, moose stall comes to mind! Yikes!!!!!

Amal Ajmi 6

Well, Brian at T-town made me fly all week without a ball!!! I have never done that and realized that I relied on it far too much and apparently did not know the difference when the damn thing was screaming to me “you’re skidding stupid!!!!!” Flying all week without a ball forces you to “feel it in your butt” the proper sense organ necessary for coordinated flight. I also learned that training I received as a student pilot was a culprit in my lack of “butt-sense”. Doosie was discarded, hand slapped very hard!!!!

Amal Ajmi 4

That which was modified was of course air work. I love training in a lower powered aircraft. It gives you confidence of flight / aircraft behavior and technique. When you don’t have the power to get you out of trouble, you learn to do it right.  More important, you learn to recognize what is not right. Many of you may not know my history, but suffice it to say I  have been in a major crash….I have deep (hyperventilating level) fears of stalls and spins….I know intimately what they can do and how fatal they can be if unanticipated and uncorrected….Because of this reactive fear I have avoided this training…I have avoided anything close to a stall and I would get sick just thinking about spin training……..well……it took a couple of “talking about it” days…..but I spin’ed and stalled away in that little 140…over and over till I got it….if I got anything out of this week of training…it was to get comfy with spins….there are no words to convey my gratitude in getting over that hurtle….am so thankful to have begun my familiarization with that important skill….a fear faced head on will lose its power and dissipate…

Amal Ajmi 3

That which was polished were landings and take offs. I know I do well at these, but you can always do better. My favorite landing on a true “gravel” strip in that little 140 brought cheerful profanity from my mentor!!!! It is always gratifying to get an expletive or two out of someone who is delighted with your performance!!! Hee hee.

Amal Ajmi 1

My favorite day though was when I turned over 1000 hrs!!!! Brian, knowing how much I missed my stick no-flap and tandem bird got me into a pretty J5 cub. Holy Hanna we played!!!!!! We flew formation with Jim Mateski in his pretty Highlander bird. My favorite activity was the low level coordinated turn about a point!!!! Low level being my favorite!!!! That was a day to keep in the brain box!!!!!

Amal Ajmi 5

Finally, my fellow pilots, I would just like to convey my gratitude to you for this opportunity. Thank you Brian and “Mr. 140” for training that will help me be an older fart’ier pilot….Thank you LLT for this chance to hone my skills and keep me safe while doing what I love almost more than anything else (I love my doggies a tad more). I am humbled and lack the words to convey what a gift this experience has meant… I will just say…BLUE SKIES!!!!!!!!

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