Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flying Lesson #140 - Some Quality Usable Alone Time

This morning the weather was most promising. A scattered layer about 4,000 and winds around 9 from 180.

Might as well go up for a flight.

So I preflight N1689H and find that the right fuel sump will not stop dripping. It's a slow and steady drip, but an ongoing drip all the same. Tugging on it does nothing. I ask a maintenance fellow at the flight school and he examines it and then quickly swaps it out for a new part. Turns out a bit of dirt inside it was stopping the spring from fully closing the valve, thus letting it drip fuel.

With that done and both fuel tanks at the tabs, meaning there was 17 gallons in each tank. Plenty enough for the planned flight.

Oh yes, I was going to be flying alone, something I hadn't done for a month.

A good start and I had got the ATIS already while the guy was fixing the sump so I got a taxi clearance and headed to the run up area. Did the run up and headed to the runway. The runway was rather busy as 27L was closed again, leaving everyone and their propellers turning onto 27R. No matter, I've got this.

A nice takeoff with some left wind correction in and I was up.

It was a lot quieter with the right seat unoccupied.

I headed to the practice area by dead reckoning and got over the proving grounds, did some clearing turns and then did some maneuvers - slow flight, stalls, and steep turns (which still aren't quite how I want them) and then lower for turns around a point and some S turns across a road.

Then after a few lazy circles just enjoying the view I switched fuel tanks and headed back to Pontiac.

Once within hailing range there it was clear that it was rather busy with a number of planes in the pattern and some coming and going.

I first had a clearance to check in once hitting 2.5 miles away for a right base, but they then amended that to a 4 mile straight in final.

I then came in and did a darn nice light crosswind landing as the wind was 180 at 9 and it was damn smooth if I say so myself. I mean really nice. The sort of perfect landings that only happen when no one is watching and there's no instructor i the right seat of your plane. I then got clearance to taxi back to 27R and do it again.

The next time around the pattern was quite nice and I did yet another nice smooth (if slightly more solid than the previous one) landing.

The next takeoff took awhile as quite a few planes were lined up both to land and takeoff. It was get in line and then line up and wait time.

I went around the patter and then the tower announced they would call my base due to traffic. Then I got a clearance to turn base at my discretion as I was now clear of traffic and had seen the traffic turning base to final and followed it in and did a really smooth landing - stable, precise airspeed and just a beautiful approach, round-out, and flare. Very nice indeed. I decided to call it at that point as my time was getting close due to the late start from the sump valve repair and I did the taxi back to the flight school.

1.3 and 3 darn nice landings.