Thursday, February 09, 2006

Final tune up for XC

Another early start this morning with Maggie getting me up, crying to go outside at 4:30. Of course I crawled back into bed and got another 1.5 hours of sleep time before getting ready to head to the airport.

Today I will be flying N991TB a 2002 C-172. My normal "ride" is scheduled out at the same time. As I start my preflight I can't help but noticing the GPS unit, Alrighty! toys! Pre flight complete, Bill and I saddle up for short hop to KILG for some final tower work as a tune up for XC next week. I quickly dial in the N99 freq. of 123.075 and the KILG ATIS 123.950 on comm 1 since that will be my first check once clear of Brandywine. I also enter KILG Tower 126.000 and ILG ground at ground .7. I also dial in the DQO VOR at 114.0 and Modena MXE VOR at 113.2 for the return trip. OK, off we go to the run up area followed by a really nice soft/short field takeoff. Weather for today is winds 340 at 6, Sky conditions are Sct 3900 per 40N's report and Pottstown PTW reports 340 at 4, sky conditions BKN 4500 (from memory so don't quote me, flight bag is in the truck)

About 10 miles out of Wilmington, after listening to the ATIS I make my call, G'Morning, Wilmington Tower Cessna 991TB. A quick reply from ILG and I return with my info, 991TB, Cessna 172, 10 miles from the north, 2500, inbound for T&G's with "K"ilo. ILG tower responds, report Left Downwind r/w 1. I acknowledge and adjust my course to get me there. As I approach ILG the tower calls and directs me to change to a Right Downwind for r/w 1 due to traffic entering the left downwind. I quickly acknowledge the instructions along with looking for traffic while turning to the left to align my entry to the right downwind. Bill instructs me to notify the tower that I am at midfield right downwind, I do so. On to the landing checklist and set up. I now also pick up the traffic and announce 991TB has the traffic. As the traffic turns left base I soon follow suit with a right base turn to runway 1, and then on to final. Speed good, flaps all in, rate of decent good, shaping up nice. This wide runway makes me feel like I am in s l o w motion, it's a strange sensation. I work on the round out and flare picture and I hear the stall horn begin to moan, gently, almost like a whiney child running a fever and then chirps, I'm down and rolling out. Flaps up, waiting, holding the center line, ok flaps retracted and I am off for 3 more rounds.

What a nice trip to Wilmington! I make my call to the tower and thank them for their help this morning and that I will be departing to the north. That was FUN, and now to finish up with a nice landing at home. I dial the CDI to see what radial I am headed in to MXE on and set my heading bug on the DG. I also set up the second CDI for a 54* radial which will place me 6 miles on a 45* to the airport. The NAV stuff is fun, now if I can hold my altitude this morning while playing with all the instruments. OK, so I dropped down 100 feet maybe 125.....I will get that corrected.

Calling out my position, I make my way to final for r/w 27 and now have a slight crosswind to deal with. I turned my normal base to final and found myself blowing left of the runway. I make corrections and set up for my landing. On center right up until my touchdown and then I ended up left of center.....remembering the "fly it til' you tie it" saying, I repeat it out loud and Bill acknowledges with get it done! Ok flaps up and were off for a final round. Now armed with the knowledge of the winds I turn my final a bit later and drift to centerline as I am adding my last notch of flaps. That was much better! Again with the slip to the runway I hold it until down then I am reminded to give right aileron as I roll out. A nice landing with a touch of stall horn, I now have the picture in my minds eye and that last session really helped. As I call down and clear Bill says lets get the dual XC set up for next week. My CFI will be on vacation the following week so I should have time to work on more landings and build some PIC time.

Maybe some solo time this weekend if the weather holds!!!

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