Expect Left Traffic

Flight 23 – Big Day!

Today was a big day! It’s way past my bed time, but I didn’t feel right letting this post sit until tomorrow. My wife is busy putting together a cake she’s made from scratch. No mixes or packets involved. It’s a yellow cake with banana pudding layers and absolutely loaded with whipped cream instead of frosting. Our son will love it, as tomorrow is his birthday party. Today however, was his first birthday. I took the day off to spend time with him, and we went out for dinner with the immediate family.

Yesterday afternoon I had a flight booked, that ended up getting scrubbed thanks to a number of thunderstorms and some crazy wind. It was fun watching other people in the pattern, switching runways about and some just calling it quits on final and heading across town. This led me to book an early morning flight today, which worked out quite well. We went over to Vance Brand up in Longmont again where I did a full-stop landing, a touch and go and finally another full stop. I kept coming in a little fast so I had a tendency to float, but altogether the landings were pretty good. After those three landing, my instructor pulled around to the ramp, asked if I was comfortable with the conditions and the landings, signed my log book, told me the game plan (three full stop landings, time permitting) and then hopped out of the plane telling me to “have fun, it’ll be the flight of my life”. And was it. You only get to have your first solo once, and even though they weren’t my best landings, I did them all on my own. Without a second person in the plane, a 172 climbs like a different animal. It also sinks (or doesn’t) different as well. Without the added weight she was happy to just glide along. This created a tendency for me to point the nose at the numbers, which of course meant coming in too hot and floating a good way down the runway (and bouncing in one case). I managed to get in three full-stop landings before we had to rush the plane back to BJC, where I had a great landing. It wasn’t solo but it was totally without help, so I’ve got it in me and just need practice. We pulled up to the line exactly when the plane was due (after showing up a bit early) which milked every minute we had booked. It took a little while for the whole experience to sink in, and I didn’t start grinning like an idiot until one of the chief pilots emphatically shook my hand (shortly followed by about everyone in the building). I half drove half floated home, and called my grandpa to tell him how things went. He sounded almost as excited as I am.

Monday we’re planning to do a practice stage check and try to get in some solo time at Metro. Of course, I’ll let you all know how that goes. Today was a day with a lot of firsts!

PS: Pardon the formatting, I’m arguing with my current blogging tools.

May 9th, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

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