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.

Friday, July 07, 2006

KRYV 072259Z AUTO 19005KT 10SM CLR 25/13 A3024 RMK AO2

I wasn't supposed to fly tonight. I'm sure glad I did.

Got back home from our camping vacation to discover my reservation for tonight had been cancelled so that the plane could have its 100 service. All planes used for hire or for training are required to have services performed every 100 hours in addition to its annual inspection. So I talked with Adam yesterday and we agreed to take the time to do some flight planning for our long cross country tomorrow.

Sure enough, when I got to the airport, there was good old 02E sitting on the ramp, ready to go, and Adam needed no extra arm twisting to get me to agree to fly tonight. That said, he promised an endorsement allowing me to solo up to 25 nm from Watertown if I gave him a good landing at Dodge County (UNU).

And what a beautiful evening it was. Light winds, and absolutely no turbulence. It was like we were ice skating on air as we headed up to Juneau. That's when we discovered that the ADF receiver was malfunctioning, so we had to find the airport by ground reference. But once we got over that minor annoyance, I dropped into the pattern and set up for the first landing. I tried to finesse it by getting as low as possible before the flair, but I misjudged it, and promptly did a two hop landing. Not pretty, but nothing horrible. Adam directed me to take it around again, and the second landing was spot on perfect, earning a "good landing" from Adam. So we headed back to Watertown, where I carried about 5 knots too fast on the flare, but held it nicely and settled down right at stall speed.

So, back in the shed we went and then spent a few minutes talking about tomorrow's route. Depart Watertown, to Sheboygan (SBM). Then to Appleton-Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATW). This will be my first experience with a towered airport, so I will have to review radio procedures. From there we head down to Dodge County (UNU) and finally a short hop back to Watertown.

More tomorrow, on Rich's Quest For Flight.


Did you have the option to learn to fly at a controlled airport?

I'm also flying out of a non-towered aiport and I'm wondering if that helped or hurt me in the long run.
From what I understand, if you're going for private (not sport) you're going to get tested on it, so be prepared. I am also based at a non-towered airport, so it was quite an experience going to Appleton for the first time. It was intimidating, but just keep reminding yourself that they are there to help you and not to give you a hard time. As with everything else, practice breeds familiarity.

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