good practice

Since my last posting, I've been doing some more dual test prep work. I went up with Gary once as a practice checkride (some areas good, some not so much), then twice with Tim. Today was my first solo in about a month. I did a soft-field take-off (partly because I was head of landing traffic, and it'd take less time) and headed out to the practice area, and did a couple of clearing turns. Then I tried a 720 degree steep turn to the right. Not so good -- I had trouble keeping altitude, but my roll-out was right on. I did a couple more clearing turns, and then did three 360 degree steep turns -- two to the left and one to the right. On each one, I rolled out on my heading, right at my entry altitude, and I hit my own wake turbulence each time. It was incredible! The first time it happened, I was momentarily surprised (did I just run over a cat?), but when I realized it, I yelled. I then went down to 1000 feet and practiced several turns about a point using a blue water tower that's just west of Plum Island. I tried to keep it in tight (as Tim has been demanding), hold altitude, scan for traffic, and keep track of fields near the tower that could be used in an emergency. After a few turns, I rolled out to the southeast, and called Lawrence. Straight in for 23, I did a short-field landing that probably could have been better. I went back up into closed traffic, doing a forward slip and a soft-field landing. I was to the left of the centerline, and a bit slow on touchdown (which made the flare less substantial), but not bad. I parked and called it a day. I'm planning to go up with Sean some time soon (perhaps Saturday), and get some more checkride simulation. It won't be too long until I'm headed to Portsmouth for the test.
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