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.
Amalâ€™s Adventures at Tailwheel Town
My fellow pilots. Have finally recouped and am ready to share with you the wonders of advanced training and periodicÂ hand-slapping. I have come to appreciate those that are older and wiser; those that care about my development as aÂ safe pilot and want to see me come home at the end of the dayâ€¦.there are so many of youâ€¦thank you for watching overÂ me and chastising or consoling when I needâ€¦â€¦
Am not sure about others, but I pick up bad habits, trying to save time here, or push the envelope thereâ€¦..I know someÂ 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.Â All I can say is WOW!!!!! I did all three.
That which was thrown out was a doosie!!! I think it would have ended me right quick. The scary thing about it was thatÂ it was not what I thought it was. Fellow pilots, again I donâ€™t speak for anyone but myself, but KNOW the DIFFERENCEÂ between a SKID and a SLIP!!!!!! It is simple I know, but apparently I didnâ€™t get the lesson. This year I have been pullingÂ gnarly â€œslipsâ€ from downwind to final trying to practice getting into tight spotsâ€¦..losing a bunch of altitude without aÂ gain in speed. Since I have no flapsâ€¦.slips are the only optionâ€¦â€¦Only what I was really doing were wonky, dangerousÂ SKIDS!!!!! Yeah, moose stall comes to mind! Yikes!!!!!
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 tooÂ much and apparently did not know the difference when the damn thing was screaming to me â€œyouâ€™re skiddingÂ stupid!!!!!â€ Flying all week without a ball forces you to â€œfeel it in your buttâ€ the proper sense organ necessary forÂ coordinated flight. I also learned that training I received as a student pilot was a culprit in my lack of â€œbutt-senseâ€. Doosie was discarded, hand slapped very hard!!!!
That which was modified was of course air work. I love training in a lower powered aircraft. It gives you confidence ofÂ flight / aircraft behavior and technique. When you donâ€™t have the power to get you out of trouble, you learn to do itÂ right. Â More important, you learn to recognize what is not right. Many of you may not know my history, but suffice it toÂ say I Â have been in a major crashâ€¦.I have deep (hyperventilating level) fears of stalls and spinsâ€¦.I know intimately whatÂ they can do and how fatal they can be if unanticipated and uncorrectedâ€¦.Because of this reactive fear I have avoidedÂ this trainingâ€¦I have avoided anything close to a stall and I would get sick just thinking about spin trainingâ€¦â€¦..wellâ€¦â€¦itÂ took a couple of â€œtalking about itâ€ daysâ€¦..but I spinâ€™ed and stalled away in that little 140â€¦over and over till I got itâ€¦.if IÂ got anything out of this week of trainingâ€¦it was to get comfy with spinsâ€¦.there are no words to convey my gratitude inÂ getting over that hurtleâ€¦.am so thankful to have begun my familiarization with that important skillâ€¦.a fear faced headÂ on will lose its power and dissipateâ€¦
That which was polished were landings and take offs. I know I do well at these, but you can always do better. MyÂ favorite landing on a true â€œgravelâ€ strip in that little 140 brought cheerful profanity from my mentor!!!! It is alwaysÂ gratifying to get an expletive or two out of someone who is delighted with your performance!!! Hee hee.
My favorite day though was when I turned over 1000 hrs!!!! Brian, knowing how much I missed my stick no-flap andÂ tandem bird got me into a pretty J5 cub. Holy Hanna we played!!!!!! We flew formation with Jim Mateski in his prettyÂ Highlander bird. My favorite activity was the low level coordinated turn about a point!!!! Low level being my favorite!!!!Â That was a day to keep in the brain box!!!!!
Finally, my fellow pilots, I would just like to convey my gratitude to you for this opportunity. Thank you Brian and â€œMr.Â 140â€ for training that will help me be an older fartâ€™ier pilotâ€¦.Thank you LLT for this chance to hone my skills and keepÂ me safe while doing what I love almost more than anything else (I love my doggies a tad more). I am humbled and lackÂ the words to convey what a gift this experience has meantâ€¦..so I will just sayâ€¦BLUE SKIES!!!!!!!!