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, December 10, 2006


KRYV 101614Z AUTO 19012G16KT 10SM CLR 03/M04 A3010 RMK AO2

It's been so long since I've flown, I wouldn't blame any of my readers if they thought I had given up, or just taken a break for the winter. The time between my last flight and now was filled with weather scrubs, maintenance problems, and sometimes no availability at all. It has all but assured that I will not get the practical exam done this year, what with the holidays and all.

But the weather today could not keep me down, and it was time for some solo work. The breeze was stiff, but the crosswind component was within my limitations. With the light load, the plane nearly jumped in the air, and I reached 3000' very soon after leaving the pattern. After clearing turns, I set up for some slow flight practice. With the air clear, setting up for slow flight was a snap today. Throttle down, first notch of flaps, let the plane increase attack angle as it slows without gaining altitude, put in rest of flaps, then pitch for speed and control altitude with throttle. Trim as necessary. Why it's so hard with another person in the plane is beyond me. Did some turns dirty, then set up for slow flight clean with the same results.

Now was a good time for a special break from routine. Today is the anniversary of my father's fatal plane crash, so I held a brief ceremony which you can see here.

After that was some ground reference maneuver practice. Rectangular course is not a problem, but I still need a little work on S-turns. After finishing that bit or work I headed back to Watertown for a little landing practice. The air got real bumpy again below 2200', so I knew these landings were going to be a workout. The first landing was not far from a mess. I landed along the centerline, but the plane was somewhat crooked, and I briefly teetered on one main before settling down. I think my mistake was turning the left aileron up prematurely, causing that wing to dip. I got the plane back up and the second and third landings were much better. I still carry about 5 knots extra into the threshold, but I'll give myself the pass today due to high winds. The crosswind component was near my allowable limit.

So I'm down to less than one solo hour to go and that requirement is met. Just some instrument training to go and a pre-checkride phase check with another instructor.


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