Yes, I'm good for two more years. I called Mary and told her I can still take us to/from Ocean City!
Mike and I met up this morning and did a ground review of aircraft procedures. We review planning, weather and risk management every time we fly together in our preflight and mission debriefs, I think we are comfortable with that part of the review.
With a review of today's flight regarding location, safe altitudes, required maneuvers and procedures we were ready to climb aboard. I picked up the ATIS info and contacted ground for taxi instructions. I was directed runway two seven at taxiway Mike via Kilo. We were off, I flowed through my typical checks for IFR as we taxi/turn to the correct taxiways. I completed my run up and contacted the tower for my departure. I was cleared to take off runway two seven and got a wind update. As soon as I rolled on to the runway the tower canceled my take off and had me line up and wait instead, very strange indeed. Of course the first thing that runs through my head is if this flight is going to be like this the whole time or somewhat normal, we shall see.
Take II - I was off for the practice area, it's been awhile. I was pointed southwest towards the Chesapeake Bay but remaining east of it and north of the Sassafras river yet west of Summit airport, KEVY. Mostly farmland with multiple outs if needed. I did a few clearing turns then jumped into steep turns. Unlike my last practice session where I cut through my own wake, this go was sloppy I was showing the rust. I recovered and rolled out on my initial heading and back at my altitude. Let's give this a go to my right, this time a bit more consistent but nothing I was real proud of. Mike had me do another round and I did better, still not happy with my performance.
We moved on to slow flight and that went fine, followed by stalls that went good too. The rust was coming off and I was feeling better. There's a big difference from doing the simple taxi run to/from the beach every weekend vs really flying the plane and practicing maneuvers, I need to set a practice schedule.
Mike pulled my power and I worked through my flow for an engine out, trimming for best glide and then performing a flow of pump on, check primer locked, carb heat on, check full rich, switch fuel tanks. All the while picking a place to put the plane down and getting to it. Simulated no restart so I figure for the worst case. I plan to kill fuel and master on a short final and crack the doors open. At just under a thousand feet Mike restores my power and we are climbing back for three thousand.
Next up was unusual attitudes, I'm a bit goofy but I like doing this stuff. Ok since I'm instrument rated I had to put the foggles on then head down and eyes closed. I swayed in the seat and listened as the engine rpm's picked up then got quiet and I felt my self get light in the seat, like going over a back road and feeling your tummy drop out. Next I heard "YOUR PLANE", alrighty, pull power, level wings from my steep bank and maintain altitude, trim, recheck systems, we're good. We did this a few more times and on the last go Mike covered the attitude indicator. Yikes! My eyes immediately went there as a first look for recovering, then, with out hesitation I changed the scan to turn coordinator for getting wings level and VSI for trend as I pulled power for my nose down condition, checked rpm's to confirm and altimeter for getting back to my starting altitude. All in a blink of an eye...now that was fun stuff!
Next up was another engine out and I made my glide work for KEVY summit. I had to slip to get in and dumped my flaps but got in and stopped with plenty of runway left. We taxied back and headed to Wilmington for some landings and I checked in with the current wx confirming where they wanted me. Mike asked for a spot landing to commercial power-off 180 degree accuracy approach and landing grade, I was just hoping I didn't disappoint. Mike picked a landing point, I pulled the power turned inbound and seemingly dragging it in, nailed the spot he picked. I loved hearing him start to laugh and his comment, you really know your plane, it made my day.
Short lived kudos as I was on the roll and climbing back out for another go. Mike asked for a full stop and pulled power in the pattern, I didn't think I would get there but he stressed holding that best glide speed and I did, and I got there, "just" got in there.
My flight was complete, I was beat, needed water and air conditioning. Good to be home writing this knowing I'm golden for two more years!