Archive for July, 2008
Today was NIGHT FLIGHT! I’m going to do a night cross country flight on Monday from AFW to Sherman or Grayson County or something. I have all weekend to plan.
We took off around 8:30 and headed over to Propwash. NOT TO LAND! We decided to use their electricity though and fire up the runway lights. Then we did a low approach, but the wheels did not touch the ground. No $100 landing fee!
Something I was wondering after the fact was how many landing lights I tuned on when I hit the ones at Propwash. There are MANY airports that use the same frequency.
Anyway, then we headed over to AFW to meet my ten landing requirement. We did most on 16R, but then got switched over to 16L when there was a clearance issue, and I got to land on the christmas tree! No, not an actual christmas tree, but all the lights lit up like that look pretty fun (kinda like a christmas tree!).
So we did that a few times and then headed home.
I’m flying a bunch over the next several days to prepare for my checkride!
The weather finally cleared, and I headed to the field today. This flight had a couple of new experiences for me. For one, I started using a different VFR navigation plan worksheet. Once I figured out that my mac was printing the duplexed part upside down (and I corrected that), it started making much more sense. I LOVE them. They are so much easier to use than the other two pages of forms you normally use.
Secondly, I actually ACTIVATED my flight plans today! I’ve had issues with previous radios, and yesterday my online flight plan filing did not work. So I had two flight plans, and did flight following, and dodged birds of prey for my 1.5 hours today.
Tomorrow I do my first night flight! I’m going to fly the Sport Star again. I just need to get 5 hours total in that and I can take it solo. I’m halfway there now, so it will probably take 2-3 more flights to finish that requirement.
I’m getting pretty close! I’m not sure if I’ll make my goal of doing my checkride before I leave for Oz, but I’m certainly shooting for that!
Went to go fly this AM and I was greeted with a pretty lightning show out towards my airfield.
Wait, lightning? That’s bad, right?
Yeah. Not so good. So instead of being up in the air right now, I’m back at the house. I’m going to be heads down all day to get 100% caught up, then I think I’ll head out for an afternoon flight. Weather briefers are telling me that it should be fine by the afternoon.
Did my second solo cross country today! Just a quick trip out to Possum Kingdom (F35), an airport I am becoming as familiar with as I am with Alliance or Northwest Regional. There was (and still is right now) a large area of convection north and west of my flight path, but it stayed up there and did not bother me. With the exception of a 30 kt headwind.
It did help me a bit on the return though. Not as much as if I would have been flying directly north, but I’ll take anything I can get. This was my first experience in heavy winds. It felt very strange doing 90kts and looking out the window to see the ground barely moving below me.
So I have another one tomorrow. Same trip, hopefully the winds will be more favorable and my trip won’t take as long. It has to take at least 1.3 hours so I can meet the requirements! I will be flying N5915A tomorrow, so feel free to track me!
Today I soloed on my cross country! We started the morning by flying the long cross country with instruction. The plane I wanted to take would not start, so we took the Sport Star on the long cross country. Sure does look cool, but it is SLOW. At least 20 knots slower on cruise (if not more). So instead of taking us a quick 2 hours, it took us about 2.5. Got HOT towards the end.
We went from Northwest Regional to Possum Kingdom to Gainsville, then back. I filed flight plans, but we did not end up activating them because I filed them on the old aircraft. We just did flight following instead. We did that on the first two legs.
Then we landed, I drove into town to get some lunch, and headed back. The plane started right up this time so I headed over to the pumps and filled it up. Then I took off to do the same trip we just did, but SOLO! It was a real experience too. I filed flight plans for all my legs, but again, did not activate any. Why? BECAUSE MY RADIO WAS BROKEN!
I could receive just fine, but my transmissions were garbled very badly unless I was within a mile or so of the receiving station. So I was able to transition through Alliance and Denton class D airspace with clearance, but just barely. I figured I was going to be OK continuing my flight, simply because there was not a ton of VFR traffic out in the heat of the day, and I could still hear other transmissions. Since I stayed out of the Class B, I am technically not required to have two way radio comms.
I finally landed, and relayed my story.
Tomorrow I am taking my old favorite, N5915A, over to Possum Kingdom for a short flight. If you want to track me en-route, click here!
Big update today. This covers two flights, one yesterday afternoon and one this morning. Yesterday afternoon we did my first cross country flight. Now before you start thinking we went to Mexico, a cross country flight is defined as a flight with a landing at an airport more than 50nm straight line distance from your starting airport.
We flew from Northwest Regional to Propwash then straight over to Possum Kingdom (F35). We landed then did it in reverse. I was really enjoying using the navigational aids that 747VH had. We used the ADF to hone in on F35, and used VORs to watch our track. Plus we did the visual thing to make sure we were tracking correctly.
One fun thing we did was listen to the ticket over the ADF most of the way. God bless AM radio!
Today I got up nice and early and took the 5915A over to Propwash and did some touch & gos. There were some folks landing in the grass over there, and I want to do that at some point with my instructor. Did a few, did some turns around a point, and then called Alliance to do more touch & gos there. I logged a total of 8 landings today.
Then my time was about up, so I headed back so I could gas up the plane.
When I turned in the key and book, there was a guy that schooled me a little bit on Propwash. Apparently they have a $100 landing fee and we are not supposed to be going over there for touch & gos.
Well, guess I’ll just be at Alliance.
Next flight is going to be on Monday when we do the long cross country! Going to go from Northwest Regional to Propowash to Possum Kingdom, to Gainsville, and back to Northwest Regional. Going to be fun! Then I will attempt a solo cross country on Monday!
A day late on this one too. It was a hectic day yesterday, from catching an early morning flight out of IAD to catching up on a bunch of work, to then heading out to the airfield to see the plane I reserved not parked at the hangar!
Something came up, and my 4:00pm reservation got bumped about 30 minutes, but I still was able to get some flight time. My instructor happened to be there, so I took the time to show him my planning for our cross country today. We chatted for a minute and he gave me some good pointers. Then 5915A finally showed up!
After putting some 100LL into the fuel tanks, I was off for flight. While I had been waiting, the wind had picked up considerably. It did not exceed any of the crosswind maximums that are endorsed in my logbook (he does not want me to exceed an 8 knot crosswind component), but it was coming down the runway pretty zippy. After listening to Alliance’s ATIS report, I was in doubt that information Zulu was in fact totally accurate. It’s not that I don’t believe that they wanted to put accurate info in there, but the winds were not quite what I was experiencing.
I flew over to Propwash and did some touch & gos, but the winds were picking up so much I was worried that the narrow runway there was going to give me trouble. In fact, at one point, the wind came at such an angle from the left that it picked up my left wing and it took nearly full left aileron to correct it. Panic did not set in, but I was definitely concerned.
So I headed over to Alliance. The runways there are MUCH wider, and if I got into trouble, the folks in the tower could help me out. I only did a few landings there before I looked at my watch and saw that I needed to get home for dinner. I asked and received clearance for a left turnout to 52F, and headed back. I followed another Cessna from our school into the pattern and took a number 2 landing position behind him. Still very gusty at the airport at this point, so I just worked on setting it down safely (not super pretty).
When I landed, I was going to try to make the gas pumps but the runway was very hot and my tires started squealing.
Ahh F. I’ll just wait until I get to the next taxi-way and do a big turn around. There were about 5 guys standing outside of the flight school, so I didn’t want to do anything crazy.
I put 10 gallons in, taxied back, and handed the keys off. So there’s the story behind the .9 hours.
Today I am ready for my cross country! I’ve got a different plane lined up (N52119) that has working instruments (how odd is that going to be? You mean when I turn, the gyros will keep up?). I’ll grab a weather briefing later this AM and then head off!
Fresh off my successful solo and passing the FAA written, we took off to the northwest and did maneuvers all day. I’m getting better at turns around a point. I must have circled that damn tree ten times when my instructor finally said “Ok, let’s go back and do some touch & gos.”
“What, you tired of turning left?”
Sounds like something a NASCAR driver would say.
Anyway, did another one of those slip approaches. They still feel super weird, but I nailed it right down the centerline on that one. After landing, my instructor gave me an additional endorsement so that I can take the plane by myself and do maneuvers and touch & gos within twenty five miles (though he wants me to stay between 52F and Propwash).
I’m looking forward to picking up some solo time! Tomorrow we’re doing a cross country between here and Possum Kingdom lake. I am starting my planning right now!
Yes you read that correctly! I did my solo yesterday! This is a big milestone and I’m ready to move on to the next level of my training.
We took off from Northwest Regional (52F) and headed over to Alliance (AFW). We entered the pattern (with clearance) and did some touch & gos and one go around with my instructor. Then we taxied over to the FBO and he hopped out (after a quick cram lesson because I had been forgetting to turn off carb heat… NOT good).
Then he hopped out, I got clearance from ground control, taxied to the runway, did my runup got clearance and went! Did three touch & gos in the pattern and then went back to the FBO. Got a congrats and a handshake, and then I got to take a tour of Alliance tower! They presented me with my solo certificate and I got to see all the neat systems they have.
Then we flew back to 52F and I left to get my haircut.
But my story does not stop there…. Later in the day I went to go take my FAA Written exam as planned. I PASSED!
Today is family day (and soon to be FOOTBALL DAY!), so no flying on Sunday. I’m back in the left seat tomorrow though!
Big milestones coming up here. First, I finished reading the text book. That’s a big one and I hope I can quit carrying that massive thing around. Second, I will be doing my solo tomorrow! Solo first, then haircut, then pick up James, then my FAA Written test. BUSY day.
Today we flew over by Propwash (16X) and practiced turns around a point. Finally, a maneuver that is kicking my ass. I’m having trouble with this one and need practice. We did a few, but since I am doing my solo tomorrow, my instructor wanted me to do some Touch & Gos. I did several, and the last couple of landings were quite tasty. Then departed out to Northwest Regional.
The Traffic Watch guys were coming back in when we were, and one of the guys (who was farther AWAY!) said he would be nice and let us land before him. Even though we were in the pattern before him. And were calling out our intentions miles in advance. Thanks. Was almost as nice as the controller at AFW telling the pilot of a single Cessna that maybe someday he’ll be lucky enough to be in a Twin.