Expect Left Traffic

Flight 42 – Dual to Akron

Akron_06 Akron Colorado that is, Ohio is a bit of a ways off for a student flight.  My second cross country went almost exactly as planned.  Winds were right about what was forecast, and I did a much better job of pre-flight planning, so passed my checkpoints as expected.  My instructor and I talked about the route I chose on the way out, checkpoints and the like, and he said he made a point to follow the highway as much as practical.  Even if it takes you a little bit out of the way, it makes navigation that much easier, as that’s exactly what we did on the way back to Metro. 

In Akron we had a decent cross-wind, and I was coming in high for 29, I chose to do a forward slip, and wasn’t really correlating the crosswind (this was before my stint in the trainer) and ended up dipping the wing the wrong way.  Fortunately the wind wasn’t gusting or strong enough to push us off the centerline at a worrying rate, and I smoothly transitioned back in to normal descent without mishap or having to go around.  We touched down about two hundred feet past the numbers, which was about 190 feet past where I would have liked but the long runway worked out just fine.  I didn’t quite slow down fast enough for the sole taxiway (as you can see in the picture, it stops half way up the runway), and had my first experience putting a plane through a U-turn and taxiing back on a runway.  It’s a very weird feeling, and I kept worrying about incoming traffic.  Traffic was again non-existent that day, which was a shame as the weather was beautiful.  Visibility was incredible, and the air was smooth as glass. 

On the the return leg we followed I-76 until we had to worry about Denver’s Class Bravo airspace, and then made a due east cut over to Longmont.  By this time the winds had come up a little, and we had a mild crosswind from the left with about 10 knots worth of gusts.  This last landing was pretty long, and with no flaps it had a very different sight picture than I was used to at the time.  I never did feel like I got ahead of the plane with the gusting and ended up ballooning once before putting the plane down fairly smoothly. 

Unfortunately this was my last flight in 64055, as a few weeks later she was damaged during a training flight at metro.  Fortunately the pilot is alright.  She broke her leg, but is recovering well and will hopefully be flying again early next year.  Next up, my first night flight, and boy was it memorable.

December 22nd, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

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