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I continue to brush up on my pattern work and in particular landing skills.  It has been a difficult summer season here in the Northeast.  Unstable air, humidity and scattered thunderstorm warnings almost everyday.  I was doing some pattern work this past Friday evening and it was very warm and humid.  The haze was very thick and there was virtually no one at the airport, so I was looking forward to about 10 touch and goes to brush up on my skills. 

The tower cleared me for take-off from runway 29 and I was to expect left traffic.  Piece of cake – my favorite pattern from my favorite runway.  I get out on the runway, put my landing and strobes on so anyone in the pattern can see me and ease into full throttle.  As I lifted off and began to climb I felt this distinct and significant “shudder”.   It seemed to stop after a few seconds, but then happened again as I either climbed, banked or applied rudder.  I wasn’t feeling very comfortable with all of this so I decided to make a call to the tower and let them know I wanted to make it a full stop rather than a touch and go.  The tower confirmed and then cleared me for a  full-stop landing.  As I turned from base to final the tower called me and in a very nice and pilot way asked “Mam, do you need any help ?”  He was trying to be so helpful, but all I told him was that I had a bit of a vibration that I wasn’t comfortable with and thought it best to bring down.  Those ATC guys can be really helpful and just when you think they are “yelling” at you … think again … they are just trying to keep you and everyone else around safe.  Thanks ATC

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Two mornings in a row I went out to my home airfield to do some pattern work.  It has been difficult to fly any other time lately with the crazy thunderstorms here in the Northeast lately.  So I get my self to the airfield at 7:00 a.m. and begin my preflight shortly thereafter.  I don’t know what was going on in my mind but my approach was stable, airspeed was right and I felt like my flight was co-ordinated.   But the first two landings felt odd and I was “skidding” on the runway as I touched down.  It took two times doing this before I realized I was applying brake instead of rudder.  Once I got that straightened out I had two mornings of great pattern work with radio, landings and everything in between.  I learn something new every day 🙂