Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Flying Lesson #48 - Onward To Jackson!

Finally the stars fell into the proper alignment.

The plane was available.

The weather was excellent.

It was time to fly.

Good preflight and I called the FBO for fuel as it was pretty much down to unusable fuel in the tanks.

The only wrinkle was that to do a solo cross country I would need a new cross country endorsement as the one I had April 20 when the aircraft cancelled the attempt would not suffice for today's flight.

Luckily, a CFI was in to redo my solo cross country endorsement to Jackson, a Class D airport, so I could do the cross country today.

Skies were clear, winds variable at 4 knots and it was time to go.

Good start and all was going well. Tower had me taxi to Runway 27L as opposed to 27R which was interesting as we rarely get to use that one.

Did the runup, got clearance and I was off!

I climbed up to 4,500 feet.

Checkpoints were made, all was going well, and I got the ATIS showing winds were 350 at 5 knots at Jackson and so I then contacted Jackson tower.

Interestingly, Jackson Tower had me do a right downwind with a right pattern to runway 32 even though they're typically a left pattern for all traffic. It actually gave me a better pattern entry from my position so I happily took it.

Decent approach and landing, I came in on final a touch high but that's better than low and no problems, and I came to a full stop.

Here's a shot of Jackson's tower.

Then I taxied back and held short of runway 32 and got takeoff clearance.

Good takeoff after getting clearance and I headed back to KPTK. I flew back at 5,500 feet, and it was just beautiful out.

I descended to 3,500 before I entered Detroit's Class B outer ring. The ring starts at 6,000 feet, so I was legal at 5,000 but I figured that was a good point to start a gentle descent for Pontiac anyways, and it worked quite well.

Pontiac was all sorts of busy today. Lots and lots of traffic. I called them at 12 miles out and they had me call when I was at a 2 mile left downwind for 27L. I did, getting a word in edgewise between other transmissions, and then got a landing clearance and brought it in to land with no problems.

Then, I got held between the two runways waiting for a few planes to land on 27R before I could get clearance to cross it and head back to the flight school. The Tower was earning its pay today as he was landing planes on both runways in very tight sequences. It was rather fun to watch them all come in from a great vantage point as I remained on tower frequency as instructed awaiting permission to cross runway 27R.   I then got clearance to expedite a crossing of 27R then contact ground on the other side, which I did.
I then got ground taxi clearance and taxied back following behind a King Air, the pilot of which apparently got lost and missed his turn on a taxiway so it took a bit for Ground to straighten him out so I could get to where I needed to go. No big deal, as it happens, and I'm sure it'll happen to me at an airport in my future.

A darn good and fun solo cross country with 1.7 more hours in the logbook and two full-stop landings. If the weather holds and the planes keep flying then Saturday will be the long cross country.


Murphy's Law said...

Good for you.

As to right traffic, get used to that with control towers...and get good at being able to fly left and right interchangeably. As the late Ed Rasimus once told me, "you're not proficient until you can fly both equally competently".

Aaron said...

ML: Thanks. I typically do right traffic at KPTK for 27R so it's no problem, so of course I was doing left on 27L today. I was a little surprised that KJXN did the right pattern as it's listed as all left pattern all the time over there, but it did make sense and made it a lot easier to enter the pattern based on my position as a result.

Murphy's Law said...

Left Pattern all the time applies when the tower is closed. When the tower is open, it's whatever they want to do, and good controllers just bring you in the most expedient way.