Archive for July, 2008

QPT, 15.4 hours (2.1 solo)

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I’m a day late here, but had a very busy day.  I took 5915A over past Propwash and practiced my turns around a point.  After circling the same silo for a good 15 minutes I started getting the hang of it!  I got tired of turning left (its easier to see out the left side of the plane sitting in the left seat), and went over to Propwash to do touch & go’s. Kelly (my instructor’s former student) was doing touch & gos in her 150 while I was doing my maneuvers, and I was hoping she would finish her pattern work before I headed over.  She did, and I waved as she parked her plane and I did my first landing.

I also practiced a slip to land, and nailed it.  I’m getting much better on the landings.

Then I went back to Northwest Regional and did a few more touch & gos there.  Mainly because the pattern at Propwash is right traffic, where the majority of airports are left traffic (just means which direction you fly that rectangle around the field).

Then I met my instructor after I secured the plane and we discussed my cross country planning.  I feel much better and spent the better part of my commercial flight to Dulles planning my routes.

I will be flying tomorrow and Friday afternoon, and I am taking the day off on Monday to get some solo cross country time.

The one on the end was a tall one!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

QPT, 14 hours (.7 solo)

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Fresh off my successful solo and passing the FAA written, we took off to the northwest and did maneuvers all day. I’m getting better at turns around a point. I must have circled that damn tree ten times when my instructor finally said “Ok, let’s go back and do some touch & gos.”

“What, you tired of turning left?”

Sounds like something a NASCAR driver would say.

Anyway, did another one of those slip approaches. They still feel super weird, but I nailed it right down the centerline on that one. After landing, my instructor gave me an additional endorsement so that I can take the plane by myself and do maneuvers and touch & gos within twenty five miles (though he wants me to stay between 52F and Propwash).

I’m looking forward to picking up some solo time! Tomorrow we’re doing a cross country between here and Possum Kingdom lake. I am starting my planning right now!

Lazy Sunday

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

QPT, 12.9 hours (.7 solo!)

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Yes you read that correctly! I did my solo yesterday! This is a big milestone and I’m ready to move on to the next level of my training.

We took off from Northwest Regional (52F) and headed over to Alliance (AFW). We entered the pattern (with clearance) and did some touch & gos and one go around with my instructor. Then we taxied over to the FBO and he hopped out (after a quick cram lesson because I had been forgetting to turn off carb heat… NOT good).

Then he hopped out, I got clearance from ground control, taxied to the runway, did my runup got clearance and went! Did three touch & gos in the pattern and then went back to the FBO. Got a congrats and a handshake, and then I got to take a tour of Alliance tower! They presented me with my solo certificate and I got to see all the neat systems they have.

Then we flew back to 52F and I left to get my haircut.

But my story does not stop there…. Later in the day I went to go take my FAA Written exam as planned. I PASSED!

Today is family day (and soon to be FOOTBALL DAY!), so no flying on Sunday. I’m back in the left seat tomorrow though!


Saturday, July 19th, 2008

QPT, 11.2 hours

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Big milestones coming up here. First, I finished reading the text book. That’s a big one and I hope I can quit carrying that massive thing around. Second, I will be doing my solo tomorrow! Solo first, then haircut, then pick up James, then my FAA Written test. BUSY day.

Today we flew over by Propwash (16X) and practiced turns around a point. Finally, a maneuver that is kicking my ass. I’m having trouble with this one and need practice. We did a few, but since I am doing my solo tomorrow, my instructor wanted me to do some Touch & Gos. I did several, and the last couple of landings were quite tasty. Then departed out to Northwest Regional.

The Traffic Watch guys were coming back in when we were, and one of the guys (who was farther AWAY!) said he would be nice and let us land before him. Even though we were in the pattern before him. And were calling out our intentions miles in advance. Thanks. Was almost as nice as the controller at AFW telling the pilot of a single Cessna that maybe someday he’ll be lucky enough to be in a Twin.


More tomorrow!


Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Tee hee

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

More Vail, starting to sprinkle

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Vail Village

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

View out my window

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

is Radiator Springs around here?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008


Wednesday, July 16th, 2008


Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Our fab ride

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

QPT, 10.0 hours!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

1/4 of the way to the minimum required hours! Today we head weather threatening to strand us if we strayed too far from the airport. It ended up being a non-issue, but safety first!

We just stuck around 52F and did touch & gos. I am getting really good on my landings… such a light touch and able to pull out a good landing when a stall could make it really bad. We did soft field landings, and soft and short field takeoffs.

I spoke with my instructor about next steps and hopefully I will be able to solo next week. I don’t think we’ll be able to get it done this weekend, unless we can do the instructor quiz on Saturday morning. I’m not pushing hard for it, but it is a very important milestone. Hopefully next week will see me beginning to plan cross country legs and logging solo time in the plane!

Just touch and go today

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

QPT, 8.9 hours

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Pretty standard day today, except I am really sticking my landings! We started by doing steep turns in the practice area to clear the airspace, then we did two power off stalls and two power on stalls. I think I finally got the 172 to break on the stall for that last power on stall.

One thing that is very interesting is that when the airframe is getting close to stall speed, I can hear a change in the air going past the cockpit. This helps me be situationally aware and will keep me looking out the window more and less at the airspeed indicator. Feels solid.

Then we did S-Turns, and turns around a stationary point. The first I have solid. The second just needs practice. It’s my first time to do it so my challenge was maintaining the same radius throughout the entire turn.

After that, we departed the practice area for 16X and did touch and gos. My landings are getting damn good. I got to do a slip landing today, and while it was a little rougher, it sure was a weird feeling. Man, I hope I don’t have to do that very often. Especially with passengers. I can see people getting queasy.

Then my lesson was up, and we headed back to 52F. Over the top we found some traffic. One guy leaving, and one guy coming in to land. Took us a while, but we eventually saw him and just entered the pattern behind and wide of him. By the time we were 100 feet above the ground, he was clear of the runway so we landed and did a full stop.

I fly again tomorrow, then a day off, then hopefully Friday if I can get back in time. I’m still on track to take my written test on Saturday!

Houston, we have wind direction!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

FINALLY! The last of the damage done by my roofers is erased. I have my new anemometer up and running! Check the weather page for more info!