Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Flying Lesson #125 - A Little Trip Alone

This morning promised some nice visibility and low winds so it was perfect for a post-Memorial Day solo.

I got a weather brief and then headed to the airport.

I originally planned to do a navigation round-robin from KPTK to Linden To Romeo and just do flyovers and low approaches to each and do some practice maneuvers in the practice area and back to Pontiac.

Turns out this school is a tad more structured about solo activity.

I checked in and the Chief Flight instructor didn't want me wasting my time navigating to Linden and didn't want to risk me busting Flint's Class C (I know where it is and already knew to go in below it, but no dice).

Instead I was to navigate to Romeo, do a landing there and then go practice in the practice area.

I pointed out I did not have the airports within 25 mile required endorsement to let me do that and so verily he took mine logbook and blessed it with the appropriate endorsement to let me legally do what he wanted me to do.

So I started up N6288J and got a taxi to Runway 27L as now 27R was closed. Since 27L is the huge runway this is rather fun.

SO I did the run-up and all was well and headed into the sky after getting a takeoff clearance and clearance to head northeast. Of I went to Romeo.

And just then my Heading Indicator decided to rotate like a carousel, continually, so it was absolutely useless and I'd have to navigate by compass. Great. Well I figured it out and headed to Romeo.

I got there and made the appropriate radio calls and decided on Runway 36 as the wind was pretty much a direct crosswind out of 270 at 10+.

First two times I came in too high and went around and the third time I did a sucky and very floaty but good enough crosswind landing. Not sure why but definitely was not at my best today.

Then I headed to the practice area to get in some practice. Slow flight was good, power off and power on stalls were fine, although the power on stall being alone in the plane felt like it took forever, and then on to steep turns.

Ah, those damn steep turns. From not an issue in the Cessna to complete rubbish in the Archer. I managed to do awesome pretty descending spirals today but that's not the desired maneuver. No clue why I'm having such trouble with what is a pretty easy maneuver and one I've done decently at before. Kept at it a bit and then said to heck with it and headed back to Pontiac. I figure I'll go up with an instructor and do them until the instructor cries "enough" or the instructor just cries, or something.

So I said goodbye to the steep turns(ok so it wasn't pronounced goodbye exactly ...) and the practice area and dialed in Pontiac, by which time of course the winds were gusting and shifting, but I did a nice landing all the same on 27L after being setup by the tower for a 7 mile straight in final approach following a Lear and an Arrow. As long as you look good landing at your home airport I guess.

That's 1.2 solo and 2 landings, including my first landing ever alone at Romeo, and the end of another logbook page and a serious need to practice the damn steep turns.

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