Friday, May 26, 2017

Flying Lesson #123 - I'm Back! Solo Again!

It was a very overcast day today, with the cloud base startling in the morning at 1,300 feet which did not look promising.

Happily by 11 the clouds had lifted to 2,200 and I had enough space to do pattern work, alone.

So I checked in and asked the head CFI if I was good to go. Winds were 8-13 kts from 280-310 and since I was using Runway 27R it would be only a minor crosswind at best. He said I was good to go solo if I felt up to it and wanted to but not to go to the practice area due to the clouds being too low. So he's giving me an option to back out if I don't feel comfortable. I said no problem and felt ready to make it happen, time to do this after all..

So I walked out to N1689H and did the pre-flight and got her started up.

It was parked beside a Dakota and a Warrior was right in front and another Archer to the far front left so the most fun was getting it out of the parking space.

I then taxied off to the run-up area and then to Runway 27R.

"N1689H ready to depart for pattern work, student pilot".

I got clearance to takeoff and I was alone in the air again. Damn, but it felt great.

I then started flying the pattern along with another Archer from DCT and N757MK from a certain flight-school-which-must-not-be-named.

Unfortunately 757MK was deciding to fly B52 bomber patterns, think way wide croswwind and bases and really overlong downwinds which is a pain when you're trying to fly a nice crisp standard pattern, but if he's ahead of you and you're told to follow you conform to his pattern. He was also doing touch and goes.

So my first takeoff is darn nice and I'm #3 in the pattern for landing, come in and a darn nice landing - no bounce, everything just right roundout at the right time, flare at the right time, all is grand, and I then exit at Juliet and get to do it again.

Solo and it feels great!

Then on the next pattern I'm again following the N757MK and get permission to land when I turn final and he's touching down, but this time he's rolling on down the runway, and still rolling on down the runway. I'm practically at touchdown and he hasn't taken off yet so I do a go round from what would have been a perfect landing. He then finally takes off - thanks guy. So at this point I'm pretty damn close to him but thankfully he finally goes crosswind and I stay upwind the create more separation and then follow him along creating more distance between us all the while.

Landing #2 is darn good.

Landing #3 even better.

Landing #4 is just plain sweet. This feels as easy as 123 and given its coincidentally Lesson 123 it's kinda fitting.

Might as well call it on a good note, and the tower is reporting the wind is picking up to where it would be technically be past my current solo endorsement, so I declare victory and terminate and head back to DCT and park the plane and shut it down.

I finally feel like I'm really back!

The feeling at the end of today's flight:

.8 and 4 landings solo.


MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

Your flying stories are good, it makes me want to get my private pilots license once the crumbsnatcher is done with high school.

Aaron said...

Thanks, but so far I seem to be the poster child for how not to do it.