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 17, 2006

KRYV 172236Z AUTO 20016G22KT 10SM SCT070 BKN095 30/18 A2980 RMK AO2

You may (or may not) have noticed that there was no post for last Sunday. You know, the day I was supposed to solo? I also happened that Sunday was the Open House held at the airport, and 02E was being used for rides. Sure enough, during the day, the starter broke and the plane went out of service. I got a phone call from the airport saying the lesson had to be cancelled. Ugh. And the weather was perfect, too. I'd have to wait a week before my next chance. It was quite a let down.

Today's lesson didn't get off to a great start. I thought the lesson was at six, and my cell phone went off at 4:30. I had read the schedule wrong. I was late for my lesson! To top that, we are in advance of a front and we had very strong southerly winds. Given the runway configuration at KRYV, the worst winds to have are gusty from north or south. So I knew I wouldn't be soloing, my solo endorsement is for a maximum 6 knot crosswind component. I was worried we would fly at all. But Adam said not to worry, he'll do the landing, let's get up and practice maneuvers.

It wasn't a good omen when, during preflight, the plane started moving backward when I lowered the flaps. The wheels weren't chocked, and I had to put the parking brake on. Takeoff was like a bad farm road - the plane was all over the place. All you can do is work with what the wind gives you, don't fight it, or you'll find yourself upside down. With the tailwind, it took us no time at all to get to the maneuver area. Then we went through what is now the standard routine: clearing turns, steep turns, slow flight dirty, power off stall, slow flight clean, power on stall. And it was all, well, easy. It was fun. We did the slow flight dirty into the wind, and I swear the wind was pushing us backward. What a hoot! Wasn't much else to do, so we headed back.

And it took a while. Took at least 15 minutes to cover the last 10 miles, heading into the wind. We eventually made it back to KRYV, entered the pattern (flying sideways in the crosswind leg), then I set it up for Adam and turned the plane over to him for landing. Damn he made it look so easy. But I wasn't about to chance it. The whole flight was fun. So as long as the winds are good tomorrow, then I'm soloing. Adam feels good. I feel good. Stay tuned.


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