Well, I've got one lesson to go to finish the course with my instructor and I've had a ball. My instructor has taught me more in the last 5 hours of flying than I learned in much of my primary training. He is a former airshow pilot (Brian Lansburgh) and used to fly the crazy/drunk pilot role at airshows as part of the Great American Flying Circus. Brian definitely puts me through my paces every lesson. For example...just today I performed a dead stick landing (prop fully stopped), practied crosswind landings on one wheel, and learned how to spin and recover in the C-140. I love performing spins in the 140. What a blast that was to point the nose up a bit, kick in left rudder, and watch the world turn upside down! I can finally keep her pointing straight down the runway on takeoffs. It took a while to get a hang of using large rudder movements at the beginning of the takeoff roll and then making them smaller and smaller as airspeed increased. Three point landings are a walk in the park now, I think they're pretty fun. Wheel landings are still proving to be a bit difficult. I'm struggling when it comes to planting the wheels on the runway. (I've boucned down the runway a time or two!) Since my first 94 hours have all been in planes with nosewheels, I have hundreds of landings where the stick has been brough back. I have to remind myself to push forward and keep that tail up.
With all of Brian's airshow experience he's spent a lot of time emphasizing the importance of coordination in turns. To help improve my skill he's been having me practice things like the portuguese roll, lazy eights, slaloms, and dutch rolls. My next lesson he is going to show me how to recover from an accidental spin as if you're in the pattern by making a left turn as if turning to base or final and skidding the turn. So, this course has been far more than just takeoff and landing. I feel immensly more confident in my skill with all the stuff Brian has put me through thus far. One more lesson to go! Oh, and that wheel on the tail has spoiled me with taxi procedures now. You can turn those babies on a dime!!