Stranded In The Southland

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back Into The Air...

Yow, so it has been awhile since I've flown. Having your flight instructor (and the owner of the flight school) pass away can really cut into your flying time.

In any case, a few weeks ago I went up with H., who was the third instructor at the school. He's actually pretty intense, which I like, and it may very well be that he's just perfect for me. March 22, we went up and did some instrument flying, and then we went up yesterday and did some pattern work. It all seemed to go well, and I'm looking forward to finishing up the requirements for my private pilot's certificate with H. (and my old flight school). Hopefully.

There are some complications. H. was winding down his flight instructing before J. passed away, and J. had a whole bunch of students. So H. is working a whole bunch extra, when he was only part-time before. So, this depends on him being able to juggle everything else in his life to pick up all of J.'s students, and just generally keep the flight school running. Hopefully that'll all work out.

In any case, the flying was big fun. For instrument practice, you put on some funky foggles, which are kinda like safety glasses with a portion of the view obscured. That way, you can see the instrument panel in the plane, but you can't see out the windows. We got to cruise around while I tried to hold the plane straight and level and fly to specific points in space based on the VOR navigation system. Plus, we got to do unusual attitude flying, which involved me closing my eyes while the instructor pointed the plane down or up or some strange way, then had me put it back straight and level by observing the instruments.

And the other day we just practiced landings, as I was feeling like I had made a bunch of "firm" landings on my own. It turns out, after a little practice, that my earlier landings weren't really bad at all, but I managed to land even better now, and I got to practice some power-off landings and some short landings and some soft-field landings. All in all, a fun couple of days.

I hope to get in some cross-country practice and then go on a cross-country solo and we'll see what happens from there!