Saturday, December 03, 2005

Maybe a birthday solo ?

A great day to fly today, wait just about any day you can get up there is a great day to fly. I had fun today working with slow flight just over the runway surface. Bill was right on because I think it cured me of the "I'm close cut the power and land it feeling". I exaggerate a bit with that statement but at times that’s what it felt like. Today after taking off I headed to Chester County 40N for a few rounds of T&G's. After reporting a long final and utilizing the ILS I was crossing the numbers with full flaps holding of the nose with each time it started to sink adding a touch of power, it was feeling great. As I sat just above the runway holding it off I pulled out the remaining power and "gently" settled down on runway 29. WOW, now that’s how it's supposed to feel! OK, flaps up power full and we're off for a few more rounds. On one of the rounds I caught a good gust which put me down on one main and had me skewing to one side of the runway......not pretty as I added rudder and power. Bill called "my plane" added more power and then handed it back to me to set it back down and complete my roll out. As we cleared then taxied around we went over what was right and what was wrong. Again we were off for two more rounds and both went very smooth, the confidence is finally catching up to my progress. It felt great as we took off and headed back to Brandywine, leveling off at 2500 and enjoying the short hop home. I looked about and thought about how long I've wanted to do this and now it's finally happening. I spot the two water towers and align myself to spilt them and look for the "hockey puck" (another holding tank but more like a refinery type tank) which puts me on a 45* for runway 27.

I reported a 4 mile 45* for downwind runway 27 at Brandywine while keeping a look out for traffic. Helicopters as usual and a few single engine aircraft were entering the pattern. I turn final and the numbers are looking good; speed rate of decent and alignment......nice. Looking downfield at the windsock it's headwind all the way....what a pleasant change. Ok, over the numbers and holding it off....nose up....adding a bit of power...holding it off...wind change!!!! THUD on the runway, oh man that was ugly and not comfortable. It seemed like the headwind just came to a stop and I was not quick enough with the touch of power. OK, one more go round so as not to end on a bad note. This time on final slight crosswind, alignment nice slight bank into wind and adding opposite rudder.....looking good I came over the numbers, held it off, slowly settling down, just a touch of power, nose up and a real sweet landing. Ok that’s a wrap for today!

I'm going to fly Thursday morning at 8am and I hope to solo then. Bill said I did a nice job. He commented that if I just trust what I learned I'll be fine. Bill said my instincts are right on now I just need to believe in my abilities. As I made my way to my ground transportation I felt pretty good, right then Bill poked his head out of the office door and said nice job today Gary real nice job. That was a first and it really helps boost the confidence. Is it Thursday yet?

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