Posted by: Brian | November 6, 2010

Local Solo

After a long week at work, I was able to get back to the air this morning.  It was a beautiful day; a bit choppy at lower altitudes with the winds picking up, but great overall.  I got in just before 8am to do my pre-flight inspection, had an instructor review my logbook ensuring that I’m authorized to fly solo and off I was.  I decided to shoot the video out of the aft of the aircraft this time, to change the view up a bit.  Pretty interesting view during takeoff and short final through the landing.

The objective of this mornings flight was to practice stalls, slow flight, and steep turns on my own.  I got out to Deale and set up for slow flight with full flaps right away, which then set me up for an approach to landing stall.  I must say, this was the most nervous I’ve been on a solo flight (and I am not typically nervous at all on any flight).  The only thing that made me nervous was that I was practicing maneuvers on my own.  I didn’t have anyone sitting next to me to say, “More right rudder” or “WTF are you doing?” (not saying that my CFI says that, just saying).  Although I wasn’t performing full stalls (which if aren’t done properly, can lead to spins), they still made me a bit uneasy.  I am sure the next time I go out and practice these on my own, I won’t be as nervous.

Since the winds were picking up a bit, I made it a point to get back a bit early to fight through a few crosswind landings.  While the wind did pick up and was a bit gusty, it was nearly straight down the runway (not much of a crosswind).  Most of my practice came on short final fighting the winds over the trees.  I just added a bit of power and ensured I didn’t get low.  The landings turned out to be pretty good, which is a good thing when you have 3 planes on the runway watching you, using the landing as teaching points for their students (both good and bad).

I have another flight tomorrow around noon.  Heading out to Easton Airport to practice short/softfield takeoffs and landings, as well as engine outs.  At this point, I am just tightening up loose ends, ensuring I am ready for the FAA checkride.  I may have another progress check with another instructor, but other than that and the FAA written (which I hope to knock out this week), I am ready…

~ Brian

Hours today: 1.1

Total hours: 61.7

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