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.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


It sure has been a while since I've posted in here, and I want the half dozen or so of you know that the quest is still going, just not quite as strong as during the summer. With fall comes shorter daylight hours and less predictable weather. But I have gotten some flying in, and the good news is that I am still progressing to my goal. Whether I get it done by the end of this year is hard to tell.

Since the cross country phase ended, I have been focusing my efforts back on cleaning up the basic maneuvers and refining my landings. Here is a recap of the past few lessons.

October 14.
KRYV 141737Z AUTO 27015G20KT 10SM BKN045 07/M04 A2992 RMK AO2

A blustery day in the hundred acre wood. Wind conditions today pretty well limited us to landing practice. The steep turn and slow flight segments were a little ragged, due to gusts at maneuvering altitude. So it was hard to get a real gauge on how well I'm doing.

October 29.
KRYV 291759Z AUTO 27010KT 10SM CLR 09/M07 A2987 RMK AO2

A beautiful day in southeast Wisconsin. Quite windy, too. We ran through the standard maneuvers and practiced some landings. A good day, the cleaning continues.

October 30.
KRYV 301918Z AUTO 17012G19KT 10SM CLR 19/08 A2955 RMK AO2
KUNU 301939Z AUTO 17016G21KT 10SM CLR 19/09 A2955 RMK AO2

The good news was that we were able to get in some serious cross wind landing practice today. The bad news was that Runway 5-23 was closed because it's in the process of being extended. That meant using Runway 11 at the beginning and end of the lesson. That meant landing practice would be at Dodge County Airport. Even there, it was quite tricky, exhilarating, and fun. I almost feel more comfortable in crosswinds as I do on a calm day. Which I think is good.

November 11
KRYV 111815Z AUTO 34010KT 10SM CLR 01/M02 A3020 RMK AO2

A cold, beautiful day. We had snowfall the night before. After climbing above a few low clouds the air was very smooth. This led to the best set of steep turns and slow flight yet. Really felt great. Then up to Dodge County, and I greased the first landing. Adam never said a word. I wanted to let out a yelp like crazy, but I am not going to jinx myself that way. Went back under the hood as Adam put the plane in various odd orientations. When doing unusual attitudes, level the wings, stop any descent or climb, and bring the speed within the normal range. After a few of those setups, he next had me fly to Watertown just by instruments. Without that natural horizon, it really does get harder to fly the plane. It really teaches you the value of subtle control inputs.

November 12
KRYV 121755Z AUTO 18009KT 10SM CLR 04/M01 A3023 RMK AO2

Light winds today, and only slightly bumpy in the air. More work on cleaning things up. Steep turns, turns around a point, s-turns, turns around a course. No flap landing at Dodge County. Need to work on controlling speed for no flap landings, perhaps consider doing a slip to lose altitude without picking up airspeed. That will need to be something I practice during the next solo. A couple of not very glamorous landings on Runway 23 at Watertown, and we're one step closer. Adam stated that we're basically done with dual instruction. Now the focus is on preparing for the practical exam. So this is it, the home stretch. I have two oral exam guides to crank on, and hopefully I'll get the checkride before the end of December. What a great Christmas present to give to my dad.