Today was quite a nice day for flying, even with a gusting crosswind perfectly perpendicular from the runway to make life interesting. I was flying with Sean today for a dual cross-country.
After a good pre-flight and taxi, I did a takeoff and while heading for Lansing initially had to stay with the runway heading and a lower altitude than planned due to traffic.
Then I was able to resume my climb and start looking for my checkpoints, all with paper map and navigation log only, which is a bit of a pain, especially when being distracted by tower instructions in Pontiac's airspace.
Then we tried to get flight following from Detroit approach but they were way too busy, so after awhile we picked it up from Lansing approach.
I got my bearings figured out and navigated to Lansing pretty much ok, and landed on runway 24.
After a full stop, we taxied back and then took off to head back to Pontiac, again doing dead reckoning and pilotage only to get back.
That worked out fine and I landed on Runway 27L. I had a lousy setup and come in a bit too high so we couldn't practice a short field landing as a result, but I'll practice more of those later. Still it ended up being a pretty soft very cross-wind landing.
That's 1.8 hours and 2 more landings with a nice cross-country flight.
And my solo shirt is now done and hanging on the wall of the flight school:
On the sad side, my flight instructor, Sean, is leaving Flight 101 to take a job further south where it's warmer to be both a corporate pilot and instructor. He's a great instructor and they'll be lucky to have him there, and I wish him well.
It looks like Will is going to be my primary flight instructor now, so that should be a change. He's a great instructor too with a different style from Sean, so we'll see how we go from here.