Expect Left Traffic

Flight 24 – WX Abort

Yesterday we made a quick run (about a half pattern) and then right back down.  We took off on 11L and came around and landed on 2.  It was an interesting turn of circumstances, as the weather started off about perfect for practicing some crosswind landings.  After our run-up and a ten minute wait as second at the hold line (there were a lot of planes coming down, and people crossing runways), the winds had picked up considerably.  I was expecting to need full aileron deflection to compensate for the crosswind, but I was also told I’d need right rudder to keep on the center line.  After drifting off quite a bit, I just went as far in to the wind as rudder and aileron would let me.  We got pushed around quite a bit, and we weren’t far off the ground when my instructor decided to take over and call for a full stop instead of touch and go.  About three hundred feet up we were offered runway 2, and took it in a hurry.  Winds were so strong that we had to crab almost 45 degrees to the runway to stay on track!  Though, with my instructor at the yoke we had an exceptionally smooth landing given the winds.  He also made an impressive crosswind landing in a 152 last Thursday, so I was in pretty good hands.  I’ve got time booked on Thursday, so hopefully I’ll have another update soon.

May 13th, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

Tags: | |

Flight 18 – Stalked by clouds

Yesterday I had a surprise lesson! I had forgotten I booked time in the late afternoon. Luckily my calendar had it for lunch time, so when my phone started giving me reminders I was puzzled. So puzzled that I rushed to the web scheduler to confirm that I wasn’t supposed to be flying at noon (a mere 15 minutes away at this point). Turns out I was right, I didn’t have a lesson booked. On a whim I started checking the remaining time slots, and sure enough I had something booked a few hours away. My wife was nice enough to drop my flight bag off at work for me so I wouldn’t have to leave early and run all over the place (BJC is a five minute drive from my work). I’ve already put in a request with the company who hosts the schedule for some email update and ical love, but in the mean time I’ll have to be better about booking stuff on my calendar as well as theirs.

We did actual landings this time instead of a handful of low passes to start. As we were making our way around the pattern we got to watch some interesting weather develop and work it’s way out of Eldorado Canyon. This wall of precipitation was visible back up in to the mountains, and came surprisingly closer with each climb out. Of course we lost sight on the downwind leg, but it was amazing how much it moved in the few minutes our backs were to it. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures but it reminded me of “Blink“, the least cheesy Doctor Who episode ever. If clouds had teeth I don’t think I could have flown, and that video clip still freaks me out.

April 18th, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

Tags: | |

Holy weather, Batman

I have another flying post coming up, but it’s late because I’m apparently a sysadmin first, and a blogger second. If you’re visiting the site you’ll notice I’m not on blogspot anymore, otherwise feedburner should just be redirecting on it’s own, and all of this was seamless for you. Anyway, we’ve had two 70 degree days in a row, and today is shaping up just as nice. I’ve switched over to commuting on the Triumph for the most part, but rain and maybe snow is in the forecast for tomorrow (gotta love Colorado). We’ll be back to warmer days this weekend and the forecast looks promising for getting in to the air.

April 15th, 2008 Posted by | Leisure, Motorbikes |

Tags: | |

Flight 16 – Best Landing Yet

It’s been awhile, last weekend was scrubbed due to turbulence, and the makeup flight I scheduled Thursday didn’t happen either. I need to get together with Peter Griffin and pick up some cloud insurance. Look at them up there… plotting. At 10:00 it was legally VFR, but on my way over to the airport (fortunately Metro is only about five minutes from my work) I noticed clouds in the pattern. Weather cleared up very nicely, and I ended up being able to get a 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot. Unfortunately the weather was scheduled to shift around that time, as not long after getting to the airport the winds had picked up considerably. About five minutes later we had a mix of rain and snow, falling sideways. Once that had tapered off, I got the photo of the parking area. Planes and buildings were fading in and out, and was fascinating to watch. There were a handful of brave bizjet pilots taking off in this mess, but mostly we went over weather, and chatted with the employees.

Today I finally got back in the air in a new addition to the fleet. There were a few technical difficulties that made the flight interesting. The tach reported about 200 or more rpms higher than actual, airspeed indicator was very sluggish and possibly just wrong, there was quite a strong smell of petrol in climbing attitudes, and the nose gear had a hell of a shimmy. Fortunately we really only did two landings after a series of low passes just trying to keep the plane five to ten feet off the runway. This seemed to have helped a lot as the next two landings were my best yet. I suppose the massive shimmy was also a good motivation to keep holding the nose off as long as possible. If I can keep this up and the weather holds out, it sounds like I’m not terribly far off from a first solo.

The weather is really starting to warm up, which is good for the motorcycles. It’s been a few months since I could go on a ride of any length, and today I got to ride out to the airport and back. My wife caught me trying to figure out how to attach my seat pad to my messenger bag, so she gave me our anniversary present a few weeks early. She got me this fancy cross-country backpack from Sporty’s. It’s got a ton of room, and the beaver tail worked great for attaching the cushion. It’s finally warm enough to break out the bikes on a regular basis, and once I have a rain cover for the pack I won’t be stuck in the truck for trips to the airport.

April 5th, 2008 Posted by | Flying |

Tags: | | |