QPT, 16.3 hours (3 solo)

A day late on this one too. It was a hectic day yesterday, from catching an early morning flight out of IAD to catching up on a bunch of work, to then heading out to the airfield to see the plane I reserved not parked at the hangar!

Something came up, and my 4:00pm reservation got bumped about 30 minutes, but I still was able to get some flight time. My instructor happened to be there, so I took the time to show him my planning for our cross country today. We chatted for a minute and he gave me some good pointers. Then 5915A finally showed up!

After putting some 100LL into the fuel tanks, I was off for flight. While I had been waiting, the wind had picked up considerably. It did not exceed any of the crosswind maximums that are endorsed in my logbook (he does not want me to exceed an 8 knot crosswind component), but it was coming down the runway pretty zippy. After listening to Alliance’s ATIS report, I was in doubt that information Zulu was in fact totally accurate. It’s not that I don’t believe that they wanted to put accurate info in there, but the winds were not quite what I was experiencing.

I flew over to Propwash and did some touch & gos, but the winds were picking up so much I was worried that the narrow runway there was going to give me trouble. In fact, at one point, the wind came at such an angle from the left that it picked up my left wing and it took nearly full left aileron to correct it. Panic did not set in, but I was definitely concerned.

So I headed over to Alliance. The runways there are MUCH wider, and if I got into trouble, the folks in the tower could help me out. I only did a few landings there before I looked at my watch and saw that I needed to get home for dinner. I asked and received clearance for a left turnout to 52F, and headed back. I followed another Cessna from our school into the pattern and took a number 2 landing position behind him. Still very gusty at the airport at this point, so I just worked on setting it down safely (not super pretty).

When I landed, I was going to try to make the gas pumps but the runway was very hot and my tires started squealing.

Ahh F. I’ll just wait until I get to the next taxi-way and do a big turn around. There were about 5 guys standing outside of the flight school, so I didn’t want to do anything crazy.

I put 10 gallons in, taxied back, and handed the keys off. So there’s the story behind the .9 hours.

Today I am ready for my cross country! I’ve got a different plane lined up (N52119) that has working instruments (how odd is that going to be? You mean when I turn, the gyros will keep up?). I’ll grab a weather briefing later this AM and then head off!

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