Rich's Quest For Flight

My father was a pilot. He died doing what he loved to do. It has been a goal of my life to become a pilot. Now I have chance to do so. Follow me as I pursue my dream.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

KRYV 031455Z AUTO 03006KT 10SM CLR 19/16 A3007 RMK AO2

What a beautiful morning. Arrive at the FBO just as it's opening. The plane was still in the hanger, fresh from its service. Adam came in after I did, and he immediately asks me to complete a crosswind component, a weight and balance, and takeoff and landing distances. I just happened to be working on it last night, so it was still fresh in my mind. So once I work out the gross aircraft weight, I show him my figures, and he says that seems heavy for one occupant. Translated: I'm not in the plane with you. My eyes glazed for a second as the thought rushed through my mind: is this it? Is this the solo? My breath shortens a bit and my mouth dries out as I complete the preflight calculations. He tells me to call for a weather briefing and I can't remember the number. I get that sorted out and call the FSS in Green Bay. This was the first time I've called for a weather briefing, and I wasn't sure what to expect. As it turned out, they do use actual humans for the briefings. I gave him my aircraft registration number (N9002E) and my flight intentions. He read back the current weather conditions at Watertown as well as the Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) for Madison (KMSN). Additionally, he gave me the winds aloft for 3000'. The dispatch is ready, and I head to the plane and start the preflight. At the same time, Adam took my log book back to his office for a few moments.

I took my time with the preflight inspection for two reasons. One, I need to calm down a little and two, since this plane just came out of service, I wanted to have a good close look. The door latch works better, they fixed the baggage door, fresh tires all around and a new exhaust pipe. All of the bugs have been cleaned off of the wings and windshield. Then Adam comes out and starts to get into the plane. So there you have it, no solo today.

All we did today was practice landings at Watertown. Adam is really trying to get me dialed in, and for some reason I'm not cleaning up as well as I would like. Runway 5 was today's runway, with the right hand pattern. Most of the landings were standard, but we did do some interesting things. One time Adam had me land without flaps, which proved interesting. Because the angle of attack is lower, the nose appears to sit up higher and the visual picture is quite different. There was a power off landing to simulate engine failure. A soft field landing as well. My main faults at this time are a tendency to come in too fast over the threshold and not using enough right rudder, causing crooked landings. Adam feels I'm about an hour away from soloing, so that's cool. And what did he do with my logbook? Well, he added the endorsements required for me to legally fly a solo flight. So all other requirements have been met; it's just about time to do it.

Next lesson is tomorrow. I didn't originally have a lesson planned, but Adam suggested it, so I'm doing it. I do love to fly!


Add a comment