Today mother nature was a bit more accommodating than she had been the past couple of times I'd tried to fly. I got out to the airport a bit early. I had time to pre-flight and stop by the FBO to grab a AFD and something to drink well before John the instructor got there.
We did about an hour or so of ground training. I can't say I learned a lot, but I had a lot that was reinforced so that was good. All of our ground work went smoothly. We got started up, taxied out, contacted ground, did our runup and was ready to go.
We were cleared for take off and we were off. Felt really good to get back into the air. The first thing I notice after getting a little distance from the ground was that I'd planned on climbing out at 110mph but with even a shallow climb I was indicating about 70mph. This was strange but everything looked ok so we continued. As we climbed picking our way through the clouds we were full throttle and should have been climbing at 100-110mph but were indicating closer to 65mph.
Everything looked pretty normal while we were doing some slow flight maneuvers and stalls. I did notice it took a TON of right rudder to keep it pointing straight but that seemed to fix itself. Could have been just weird winds. We flew out to Gainesville, KGLE, for some landings. The instructor decided to do the first landing to kind of show me what to look for. That's when things go weird. On pretty much the entire approach and landing we were riding the stall horn even though we were indicating 80mph. The plane was mushing really bad so we knew we were slow. The instructor said it just felt wrong. I was up next and he was right. On my landing we got real wobbly. That's normally a sign of being slow and just above a stall for a long period of time. I was indicating 85mph while this was going on. After landing we checked a couple of things. We decided we'd fly the approach at 110mph to see if that would seem fast or not. On climb out our airspeed went from 60 or 70 down to zero then after a few seconds it went up to 90mph where it should have been.
After a couple of trial an error landings we found that if we kept about 95mph that would actually be about 70mph and allow us to land fairly normally. Even with all that figured out, the gusty winds made landing a bit tricky so not a lot of learning was happening on this day.
So with all that we headed back for Denton. Was a fairly uneventful return and landing. I was able to find my way back to the hanger without getting lost, BONUS! Got refueled and put back into the hanger all nice and neat. It was a fun flight. And even though we had some issues I did learn a lot. And most importantly I got some confidence that I'd been lacking.