Sunday, January 13, 2019

Flying: Regaining Currency

It had been months since I last had flown - every time I had booked in October, November and December I had to cancel due to weather. Basically we had lousy weather the past few months for flying - low, low clouds and other lousy conditions for flying. Over 90 days without flying - yuck.

If you haven't made 3 takeoffs and landings within 90 days you're no longer current to carry passengers. Not flying for that long was making me antsy about how rusty I would be when I got in the cockpit again.

I just got my medical renewed last week so it was time to fly if the opportunity presented itself.

I did some necessary chores around the house and then headed to the airport. I had a short window between tasks that needed to be done and I intended to make the most of it. The Archer was available so I jumped on it and my friend Peter would be flying it right after me so I told him I'd warm it up for him.

Today was forecast to be marginal VFR but the weather gods of aviation decided to smile and it became a nice sunny VFR by the time I got to the airport. Could not ask for nicer weather for a refresher flight.

I got to the airport and did a careful by-the-checklist preflight making sure I didn't miss anything after not flying for so long. The winter blanket and oil heater cord came off the plane, and I turned off the interior electric heater as well and unplugged it as part of the preflight and all was well.

The winter blankets and heaters did their thing - I had a good and easy start up, and a good run-up and then a taxi to Runway 9L.

It was time to do some pattern and make sure I could land the plane after all this time.

The wind started at 40 degrees but then tended to be out of 10-20 degrees at 10-12 knots, so some crosswind landing practice was in order.

A nice takeoff as if I hadn't ceased flying. The aircraft performance in cold, crisp, air was outstanding. She wanted to climb like a homesick angel. Up to pattern altitude in no time flat. A nice pattern and a good line up for landing number 1.

Landing number one was rather solid and aircraft-carrier like, juvat's F-4 Navy IP would have approved, so there was room for improvement.

Number 2 was much better, even as I had to fly a longer downwind due to a Cessna 172 doing a B-52 pattern.

Number 3 took place after a Cirrus and it was a sublime landing indeed. By then the wind had shifted to a consistent 010 at 11-12 knots and I had the landing nailed - good crosswind control in, excellent line up, and as smooth and sweet a landing as you could ask for from the plane and pilot.

Number 4 was more of the same but was nice and precise and used very little runway, as did landing 5. Then 6 was a thing of beauty - flying to rolling with no issues. I then terminated and tower let me roll down to the exit by the row where the plane is hangered.

I then parked it outside the hanger and called for fuel so it would be nice and full when Peter got there. He showed up with his son and we chatted for a bit, and then I headed off for home to get some more chores, to be begun and done right after I finish this post.

Currency for carrying passengers during the day is now restored and I'm feeling really good about my flying again.

That's 1.1 and 6 landings.


drjim said...

Bravo, sir!

I used to feel the same way after being off the track in the "off season". Had to relearn heel-and-toeing again, along with matching the RPM on downshifts, brake balance, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Glad the weather gods smiled on you!

B said...

Glad you got some time it. I feel the same way after a WEEK!. First one is, for some reason, always harder on the mains than the others. Don't know why, perhaps just human nature.

Glad you got some time in.

Now for Night currency, and yer all set.