Friday, January 08, 2016

Flying Lesson #35 - Alone Again

Today I went up to do pattern work completely on my own.

Winds were light and coming from 100 degrees at 8-9 knots so I was using runway 9L.

I called for a weather brief for the first time, and it confirmed the conditions I already knew from reading the METAR for KPTK - VFR, good visibility, winds as forecast, and a broken cloud layer at 6,000 feet. So, I was good to go,

I did the pre-flight on my own as usual, and called ground and got clearance after waiting for a fuel truck to pass.

Then I did the run-up and got clearance to depart runway 9L and to do a left pattern.

A good takeoff and I was up. Flying solo again!

This was neat and a little bit nervous-making but I had it under control, carefully checking everything at every stage of the pattern. One fun thing I found was the flaps indicator needle was stuck at 0 on the dial, so I had to do the flap settings by time and eyeball (basically for 10 degrees you count 1...2...3 while holding down the lever, and another 3 count for 20 degrees etc). The flaps worked fine though, and I wrote up the squawk sheet on it after I landed.

I did the pattern and it went pretty well. The first time around I did a decent enough landing but it wasn't nearly as great as the landings I did on my first solo, so I went around and did it again six more times with varying degrees of decent landings with one being quite nice indeed. At that point I decided to call it a flight.

All the landings were decent overall, one had a bit of bounce from flaring too early, and I slapped my own wrist for doing so since there was no instructor beside me to do it for me. I still have to watch that.

That's .8 hours as solo pilot-in-command and 7 landings.


Murphy's Law said...

Always count when putting flap in and look at the actual flaps while you're at it to confirm that they're where you want them. Those little position indicators on the dash are reliably unreliable.

And always call for a weather brief, if only to establish a record that you did check your weather.

Aaron said...

ML: Yes indeed. I do the count, visually check the indicator and the flaps themselves every time.

Yep, I'll always call for a brief. The brief had some very thorough and pretty interesting information, and the briefer was quite good. It had lots more info than I needed for a flight around the pattern but it was good to hear it all as I prep to do cross-country flights.

OldAFSarge said...

You are having fun aren't you.

I know I'm having fun reading about it!

Aaron said...

OldAFSarge: That I am and it keeps getting better, and I'm glad you're having fun reading about it.

While flying that day I was thinking to myself "Foley Huck! They're actually letting me go off and fly this airplane all by myself - are they nuts?"

juvat said...

Yes, well, having sent a few students out on "Solos" of one form or another, I can pretty much guarantee that there was frequent checking of the watch and a collective sigh of relief when you full stopped.