Stranded In The Southland

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just A Wee Bit O' Turbulence

After a couple of weeks of suffering with a cold, I finally managed to get up flying again! This time, I went up with J., the owner of the place, and had a great time.

J. warned me when we got ready for the lesson that the Santa Annas were forecast to be blowing through, and things might get a little crazy -- we might even have to land at a different airport (several in the area are shielded from the Santa Annas by the mountains) and get a ride back. In any case, we were gonna head up and work on instrument flying.

The wind was almost nonexistent when we took off -- 5 knots variable -- but just about the time I'd put on the vision obscuration goggles (how else do you fly on instruments?), we started to hit some energetic turbulence. J. bounced his head off the ceiling, and I just bounced around a whole bunch. It didn't particularly bother me, but perhaps that was just 'cause I didn't know enough to be scared. We decided to stick to the pattern and practice landings instead of instrument flying.

I made three touch-n-goes and a landing (all of 'em with a lot of help from J.), and it was a great time! I really don't know how to land, and I find it very mysterious and complex and scary, so it really seems like it's worthwhile for me to be shelling out to learn it.

J.'s a fantastic instructor, and just starts talking when you meet him, and doesn't shut up until he's dragged out the door with the next student. Now sure, I'm probably not going to remember everything he said, but hopefully some of it'll stick. He had all sorts of good suggestions for getting things done, and is enthusiastic about getting me soloed and off his hands. :-)