After taking a break from painting for a couple months I started up again last night. One thing that I forgot about painting in my third floor studio was my mediums and the fumes. The east coast of the US has been very hot and because of this my studio fans were blowing in – oops. Now as checklists go I forgot an item on my checklist, turn the fans to exhaust.
The good news is I do not have a bad headache last night or this morning, the last time I did this I was sick for a day. But all fans are on exhaust now and I think the house will be vented within an hour. So the truth is, no matter how much experience you have, you need to use you basic checklist!
This makes me think of flaps, airplane flaps. If you think of a wing going from the outer tip in and at the trailing edge of the wing you have an Aileron with a possible trim tab and then flaps. Flaps are common on fixed wing aircrafts. Ask ten people what flaps are for and you may get 10 different answers!
Flaps can be used during both takeoff and landing. With the B19 I owned I used to set flaps at 10 degrees during takeoff on a hot summer day. Keeping this description simple – the flaps when extended change the wing camber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camber_%28aerodynamics%29 , increasing lift thus allowing the plane to fly at slower speeds without dropping out of the sky. Yes it increases drag and on landing some may say it slows down the plane but more importantly it allows the plane to go slower without dropping out of the air. (yes I know this is a basic description)
On one occasion I was being administered a FAA certification exam and the examiner asked me what would happen if my electrical system failed on landing. I immediately did what I was trained to do during a test like this and I grabbed my emergency checklist. All of this was happening when I was on approach and just entered the pattern and was at 1350 feet. I said should I complete the landing he said yes but you have no electrical system – but do use your radio if needed.
When I was downwind I prepared to lower the flaps and remembered that I could not because the Cessna 172 that I was flying had Electric Flaps, then I considered my speed, bingo, I passed the test. While the emergency checklist would be different with no electrical system – what was more important was that I understood what the flaps did. I landed, at a higher speed and of course that impacted the distance required to land (stop the plane after touching down) and a few other things not important here.
So my painting was not optimal because I forgot my checklist and I did not notice how cool the studio was! While checklists are important it is just as important to understand what you are doing and how to be aware of your surroundings. I am sure today will be a better painting day.