Posted by: Brian | October 23, 2010

Night Flight & Local Practice

* The audio didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped so I only got the video.

As I wasn’t able to post after my last flight, I figured I’d combine the two.  Last Sunday evening, I flew from Freeway Airport to Lancaster, PA (LNS) to Baltimore Washingon International airport (BWI) and back to Freeway Airport.  It was an amazing flight.  I did get video, unfortunately, I tried to get footage out of the front instead of the side of the plane – yeah, didn’t turn out that great.  So unless anyone REALLY wants to see the back of my CFI’s head at night, I’ll just avoid taking the time to make the movie.

It was my first flight where I was able to get Bravo Airspace clearance on my way to Lancaster.  It’s pretty funny to listen to ATC vector us around the much….MUCH larger aircraft in the area.  Other times, they just informed the larger aircraft of my wee-little whereabouts.  We got into LNS, landed and taxi’d back for a southbound departure to Baltimore.  I was extremely excited to get back on our way to BWI, but also very nervous.  I knew that I would have to be on top of my game once I got back into Bravo airspace.  It’s one thing to fly the outskirts of Bravo, but to fly into the central nervous system is another.  The sweet thing was being vectored into 33R at BWI, flying over downtown Baltimore (Pratt Street).  Simply amazing.  Something else that was fairly cool was being on final approach on 33R while a Boeing Southwest Airline flight was next to me landing on 33L.  Surreal…

Fast forward to today, I was able to get back up this evening for a local practice run with my CFI.  I am closing in on the end of my training, we went out to our practice area and worked on slow flight (clean and with full flaps), approach to landing stalls, departure stalls, steep turns and instrument work (unusual attitudes).  We got out to Deale, MD, and immediately jumped into slow flight with full flaps.  After not having done them in awhile, I wasn’t too sure how it’d go, but it went very well.  Muscle memory is starting to kick in so these maneuvers are becoming second nature to me.  While I did do very well today, there is room for improvement.  While doing the departure stalls, the first two I did, I wasn’t using the proper amount of rudder.  I got out of the stalls, but could have done better – which I did my last two stalls.

We moved on to steep turns.  I did two – one 360 degree to the left and one to the right.  Finally, I strapped on my foggles for instrument work (unusual attitudes).  I placed my head in my lap, closed my eyes and basically got disoriented.  My CFI made a few turns, climbs, descents and asked me to “recover” based on what I saw my instruments doing.  We did about 4 iterations of that before heading back to Freeway Aiport.

Tomorrow (Sunday, 24 October) I am doing a solo cross country to Georgetown (GED), Delaware.  It’s a 136 NM round trip journey and should be fun.  I hope to have some good video to show.

~ Brian

Hours from last two flights:  3.8

Total Hours:  56.1

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