Stranded In The Southland

Saturday, August 09, 2008

More Practice...

Well, after four or five hours of solo flying, I was anxious to do some flying with my instructor, and figure out what bad habits I've picked up. The solo work is important to improve my confidence and highlight areas where I've been leaning on my instructor without noticing, but at some point I have to return to the source to ask questions and improve my skills. For instance, I clearly need some help with go-arounds.

Unfortunately, my instructor canceled on me the other day about 30 minutes before our appointment, on a beautiful day. He'd just noticed that he was signed up to teach about 14 hours of lessons in a day, which didn't seem comfortable or safe. I'm sympathetic -- I'm occasionally flaky in that sort of "Oh, I guess I didn't realize that" kinda way -- but this just seems so unprofessional. I'd signed up for my flight at least a week in advance; the problem was another student's night flight (almost certainly scheduled after I'd set up my lesson) that would last past midnight.

H. claimed that he was confident that I was doing okay, and that he needed to get this out of the way for the other student, but this really puts a crimp in my training. I'm ready for a big push to get the last three or four hours of instruction I need for my certificate, and it is unfortunate to miss a beautiful flying day for no good reason.

I couldn't fit in a lesson Friday or Saturday, and H. doesn't teach Sunday, so I just went up on a short solo flight to keep my skills up. I headed out to the practice area on my own for the first time, although I didn't have much to practice. I had a bunch of questions about what I was doing and how I was doing that I needed answered before I knew what to concentrate on. I didn't want to do more touch and goes until I knew what I was doing wrong with the go-arounds.

It was still good to get up and practice my radio skills (I forgot to say "traffic" rather than "practice area", which another user of the practice area demonstrated to me) and try to remember everything I need to do to fly (I forgot to enrichen the fuel mixture again when I went below 3,000 feet, 'cause I got busy on the radios). I even made a fine landing, but I think that this whole flight was unnecessary. I should've been able to fly with my instructor and work on this stuff, rather than waste 7/10s of an hour messing around in the plane to try to keep from getting rusty.


  • 'Ole Dad Sez,
    Well, I am of the group that says that no flight time is wasted, but the situation you experienced is sure frustrating. Especially when you are on a push to wrap up the student bit and go for your licence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 PM  

  • Eh, it's just that flight time is so expensive, it's a real shame to waste it. I'm all for solo time -- after all, I'm learning to fly so that I can go out and fly -- but it's important to make sure I'm getting the instruction I need.

    Oh, well, hopefully I'll knock out the rest of the requirements for the certificate real soon now...

    By Blogger K, at 10:30 PM  

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