Another fantastic day, mid 80's humidity low and a nice breeze. My lovely bride makes the trip with me to Millville for my lesson. Along the way we make a stop in Alloway to stroll through the Antique shops and another stop closer to Bridgeton. We did take the ML320 instead of the Corvette but Mary was easy on me today.
We made a quick stop at the Cornerstone for lunch. After some refreshing Ice Tea and a BLT each I headed back to the ML to grab my headset and log book. Mary walked out to the aircraft with me as I started my pre flight a bit out of order. I checked both tanks for fuel and performed the fuel tests. Everything looked good so I proceeded with my pre flight. Mary did not want to distract me so she headed back into Big Sky to read a magazine she brought along. I finished up the pre flight and saddled up for another fun round of T&G's. As I taxied out Dave and I discussed some of the things for today's lesson and he informed me he met Mrs. Gary.
I laughed and said Mary was excited about watching today but once she took a look inside the 172 she had that look.....the you want me to get in that lil box and fly where look. Dave chuckled and said she would be fine...if she wanted to see a small cockpit we could take her in the hangar and show her (I forget what airplane he rattled off) really small. Ok time for the run up the to taxi to hold short for one ahead of me departing RW 10. Ok, Runway clear I notify Millville traffic that Cessna 50129J is departing RW 10. Not a bad take off, could have used a bit more rudder. We're off and climbing out to 600 then turning cross wind and climbing out to pattern Alt 1000. Turning downwind I am a bit to close and bank out left to give myself some room. I point the nose to a heading of 290 to keep my ground track correct. Abeam the numbers it's carb heat and reduce power to 15-1700 and add a notch of flaps. I turn base to soon and try to correct by turning out and re-aligning myself. This only compounds my mistake by turning final a bit late and now wide of the runway. With some banking and rudder I manage to align myself on centerline but find myself a bit high. With a slight extension and a not so long look down the runway I drop in with a thud and roll out rather quickly. I guess the flapper valve let loose and I come across the intercom with a oh S*#* that was terrible. Dave says taxi to Alpha and call down and clear. I follow his instructions and he says....now take a deep breath regroup and lets give it another go. Dave reminds me gentle corrections fly the pattern and put myself in the right position fly ahead of where your at. The quick turn to base put me behind my thought process and where I should have been physically and mentally. I think we did at least another 4 cycles with me calling one missed that I was to fast and a tad high and then crossed up with over correcting rudder. I rather go around then drop in or chance a side load on the gear that would not be safe or do much for my confidence or learning curve. After the final landing we taxied back and Dave insisted that it will all come together and that maybe I was just thinking to much.
One of the bright moments that I am adding here one day after the fact is my Eagle sighting and taxi companion. That's right As I was climbing out to 1000 and turning downwind for runway 10 I saw a large bird crossing from my 1 o'clock to my 11 o' clock and turning to lead my downwind. I caught a glimpse of sunlight of it's tail and noticed it was white (I'm thinking noway). This bird breaks hard left screams past my 9 o' clock full view Bald Eagle looking magnificent ! WOW! Very cool......made my day! My second bright spot was after my full stop and taxi I held short for a Gulfstream to pass by. As I look to check out its Tail number
(only because it has the same markings as Air Force 1) It carries "N1" . Well Ok then, I'm thinking I guess I can follow that aircraft until I reach my tie down.
Mary still had that look on her face when she met me after I secured the aircraft. One of the guys inside tossed me the keys to N346BS the 2004 Cessna 172 so that MAry could see the spacious newer 172's. She gave it a look ad really like the "modern" look and she seemed to ease her concerns. We headed back into the building and she again reaffirmed that she wants to do the companion course........I felt much better hearing that. All in all a great day with my wife and
I managed to get through another round of T&G's. I SO look forward to finally getting landings down with out any problems.....in time tiny grasshopper. I'm on the board for tuesday night after work, I can't wait to saddle back up and have at it again!