Expect Left Traffic

Time Out

fluoroscan Well, it’s all done.  My wrist upgrade is complete, and all that’s left is for it to heal.  As you can see on the right, a chunk of bone was taken from my radius to graft in to my scaphoid (no, that flat spot in the bone to the right isn’t normal).  All in all everything is going well.  I’m in a fair amount of pain and discomfort because I have a habit of taking myself off the prescribed pain medication well before I’ve used even half of it, but that’s usually how I tend to do things.  It’s all pretty manageable on acetaminophen anyway, and once I’m a little more resilient to the random small bumps I’ll be clear to fly without having to get stuff out of my system.   After the break is a shot of my wrist I took last night.  The stitches are out and I’m in a brace now, but the picture is locked away for those who don’t want blood and guts with their normal feeds.

The last time I got up was still the stage check, and other than reading blogs, news feeds and daydreaming I’ve kind of called a time out on aviation stuff.  I had one flight booked for Father’s Day, but it was scrubbed due to a faulty starter, and my surgery was a few days later.  Dad’s day we had brunch at the Runway Grill though, and got to watch all the traffic taking off and landing (not to mention a fantastic view of the flatirons).  My nephew and grandfather-in-law had a blast watching everything.  Next time I get up, it sounds like we will probably do some air work with my instructor on the throttle, and my right hand on the yoke.  I’m sure that will be a faster transition than me not flying at all for eight weeks.  We’ve got a vacation coming up and there’s so much to do it’ll be at least another week and a half before I can get up in the air.  I’ve ordered the Second Edition of Rod Machado’s book (now in hard cover), and am eager to see what he has to say about GPS and some other new stuff that’s available.  Even though it’s big and heavy I’ll probably lug it with us on vacation and call it time in on the aviation study.  If I consider it leisure time during the working weeks, I can still call it the same on off weeks, right?

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June 27th, 2008 Posted by | Flying, Leisure |

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Flights 29 & 30 – Stage I Check & the RMMA Air Show

N4547EThis here is 4547E.  She’s a 160hp 172 and has been my companion for the majority of my training, including my solo.  Last Tuesday (a whole week ago… I’m bad at this blogging thing) was more Stage I prep, and Friday I had my check ride.  It was a bit of a bumpy ride and other than setting up for a departure stall things went pretty well.  I didn’t perform most of the procedures as well as I would have liked, but I’ve been accused of not being real happy with any of my work unless it stands out.  The important thing though is that I got signed off for the Stage I Check, so that makes two instructors and one of the Senior CFI’s who think so.  I’ve only got time to squeeze in one more lesson before the surgery on my wrist, so I don’t think we’ll get any cross-countries in and then it’s a long break from flying, a short break from work and probably everything else until the long-term cast/brace goes on.

SR-20 Saturday was BJC’s open house and air show.  I got to introduce my wife and son to the people I fly with every week, and see lots and lots of planes.  There were a couple of Bonanzas to oogle then Jack and I finally got a tour of the inside of a Cirrus SR-20.  They’ve been sitting on the line next to the 172s I’ve been flying for almost a year, but since they’re twice the price I think I can wait until after I get my ticket.  We had my little hand held so were able to listen to the tower between airspace closures, and the air boss during.  Jack had a blast, and even spent ten minutes watching Patty Wagstaff fly.  She was dumping smoke and moving around so much that he just sat and watched her for almost her whole routine.  I got to play with my wife’s fancy camera, which can pump out three or four frames a second, and ended up with almost 500 frames before I decided I was likely to full up her memory card and called it quits.  We decided to head home between the F-18 and F-16 flights.  Jack was exhausted and slept through most of the F-18, though the fly-bys startled him.

Sunday I went back over to the airport with my wife’s grandfather to check out the B-17. We got there in time to see it take off, so hung out for a half hour or so listening to the tour waiting for her to come back.  We heard lots of smaller planes brave the crosswinds, and some divert over to Erie.  We also got to take a tour of the B-17, which he said still has some of the original radio gear in it, though it wasn’t hooked up.  All in all it was a very busy week and weekend, and I’m almost looking forward to some downtime next week, even if it’s surgery induced.

I’ll leave you with a quick video of Patty Wagstaff…

June 10th, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

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Flight 28 – Stage I Prep

Due to weather, I took about a ten day break from flying.  Thursday however I got up to do a little practice for the Stage I Check.  We did some slow flight, a few stalls and a steep 360° turn that became a 540 due to traffic.  We made it back to BJC in time to do a few touch and goes before the plane was due, and had three of my smoothest touchdowns, across two landings.  I had a bit too much speed on our first touch and go, even though I put the plane down ever so smoothly, about fifteen or twenty feet later we went a few inches back in to the air and then settled back down just as smoothly.  After this we were comfortable enough with the weather to do a couple soft-field landings and then for the full stop my instructor said he wanted to see the nicest, smoothest, softest landing and it was all up to me how I went about it.  We were making traffic for the south runway, but were cleared to cross over to the north as I started my decent.  I went for a slower descent due to the longer base leg, and decided to come in with 30° flaps instead of my usual 20.  Winds were calm so I didn’t need extra speed to cut through turbulence or a crosswind.  I also opted for a standard landing so didn’t add a touch of power as we were coming.  The result was the softest, smoothest, straightest landing I’ve experienced.  Not just made, but been present for.  I don’t think they get any better.  It was a a landing to be emulated, repeated, but not something likely to be improved upon, and it was all mine.  This week I’d like to get one more practice session in and then maybe bump the following lesson for the Stage I check.  Once that’s out of the way it’s on to more finesse style landings, and maybe a cross country in the near term.

On another front, it looks like I will indeed be getting a screw put in to my wrist.  That means in about two weeks I’ll be taking at least three weeks off from flying.  With any luck if I end up in an old fashioned cast I’ll have enough mobility to operate the flight controls.  If not these posts may end up shifting in focus a little.

June 1st, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

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