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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: New Pitts Driver Update

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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: New Pitts Driver Update


Thread: New Pitts Driver Update

Message: New Pitts Driver Update

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: Rick Manzie <acrohead at>

Date: Mon, 12 Feb 1996 04:51:07 UTC


This post is for my fellow Citabria/Decathlon Drivers (future Pitts drivers)

-First half hour:  familiarization, some loops, some slow rolls (fast slow rolls)..orgasmic.

-Next Hour:  touch & goes, touch & goes, touch & goes; from the back seat.  I can't see the runway, hell I can't see the damn airport!  I can't see the sides of the runway.  I'm all over the place!  "Wacker" (my acro instructor) keeps me out of the dirt maybe 4 or 5 times.  I've got tunnel vision; no, make that eye-of-the-needle vision (yes, old instructors get tunnel vision, too!).  This airplane comes down like a rock; so what, I've got medium twin time and tons of 206 time.  Chop the throttle on a 206 and it comes down like a rock.  I'm a nervous wreck.  I'll never be able to fly this airplane; I'm a full 1/2 mile behind it.  I'm a lousy pilot, a washout, I want to throw up.  I hate flying!  I shoulda stood in bed.

-Next Hour:  touch & goes, touch & goes, touch & goes; from the back seat.  I can't see the runway, hell I can't see the damn airport!  The same thing all over again.  I'm trying too hard, I'm really trying too hard!  No improvement, no improvement at all!  "Wacker" asks for a runway bearing check on downwind.  Give me a brake!  Yes, I can read the compass and fly, too!  "Wacker" starts getting on my case about my Fort Worth Center/DAL/OKC short comm procedure.  "Damn it, Rick, when you answer the tower, answer 474 Roger, not "OK" ".  Okay, so I know I'm behind the airplane, I get the message, get out in front of the airplane.  Jeez, I'm exhausted!

-Next Hour:  touch & goes, touch & goes, touch & goes.  Okay, so now I'm using all the different ways to keep the runway in sight 'till the last second; carrier approaches, S-turns on long finals, runway offsets on long finals, and the good old standby slips.  I saw the sides of the runway today.  As a matter of fact, I actually think I saw some runway lights; these little fat phallic things sticking up like tiny lighthouses (either my peripheral vision is improving or the world is beginning to slow down a little).  "Wacker" did not have to keep us out of the dirt today.  I think maybe 50% of the time the centerline remained under the wings somewhere.  Okay, maybe 30% of the time.

On downwind I had time to reach in my shirt pocket and pull out some chap-stick for my lips.  My Pitts dry throat is extending outward into my mouth and onto my lips.  I hate it when it does that.

I did better.  I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I think I can see the tunnel.

On one downwind occasion, we had to extend for a 172.  172's are very big and fast and require lots of room in the pattern.  Get behind one of those big 1-7-2 heavys and you'll be in the pattern all day.  Anyway, I took the time to listen to the engine and observer my body in the cockpit. My body is surrounded by raw airplane cockpit.  No fancy upholstery, no automobile looking switches, no place to put stuff...just simply raw airplane cockpit.  For a moment, just one micro-moment, it was 1941, this is my Spitfire!

Today, all is right with the world.


Rick Manzie, Las Vegas, NV~IAC-777,EAA-163,AOPA,NRA-Life
COMM/ASMEL/INST/CFI(exp'd '71,oh well)~~OneDesign builder
acrohead at ~~ Pitts N31474
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