PPL Student pilot, ~20 hrs
Hi, whilst doing some pattern work I frequently find myself unable to keep accurate track of the number of landings. There's an AFIS at my home airport who keeps track (because they charge fees) but there are a few "flatrate" (you pay for 5 landings, but it's flat-rate after 5) air fields or some free gras strips where nobody keeps count.
The flat-rate one is particularly hard, the pattern altitude is just 650 ft and it's very tight, so there's barely any chance even on the downwind to scribble a note on paper or so.
I've tried using a "lap timer" function on my watch, scribbling lines on a tally sheet etc, but am prone to forget to add a line when things get busy. My multi-tasking capability hasn't improved to the point where I can do too many things at once. An extrapolation of flight time and time per pattern isn't always giving me the correct answer either.
Would the Pros have any tips on what might be a useful way to keep an accurate count of the landings? How are you doing that?
My problem is solved. I've flown 11 patterns, which are clearly visible (marked yellow). I've done two engine failure after takeoff trainings, marked blue. The red marker must have been a sensor error; I don't remember crashing between the first and second landing. The green markers are forced landings w/o power, aborted at about 350 feet each.
The bad thing about it: Although it was gusty and there were strong winds, I can now see that my altitude control could be improved in the pattern. I don't ever remember being more than 50 feet off, but the data suggests otherwise. Once again, fabulous tips all, but this was the winner. Phone in my pocket keeps count, and provides reprimands to beat oneself up about after landing. Great! Even provides pretty accurate flight time, next time I'll try and activate it on top of the hour for easier calculation of what time second "x" actually is. Next time I'll also have phyphox running and will measure the acceleration on landing. The next thing to improve...