Friday, July 07, 2006

Back in the saddle.....

Wow, this flying stuff is pretty cool! It feels like I am a new student as I pull up to the airport today. I arrive early and complete my preflight and have some time to watch a few planes in the pattern along with some rotor traffic.

My CFI arrives and we get ready to go. He asks, what's on tap for today since I did not fly the two days I had scheduled due to my brain fart. I mis-read the date for my 90 day to expire it was July 11th and I thought it was in June. Ok, that means I could have taken a few flights over the 4th holiday but I didn't remember the school requirement of flying with an instructor within the last 30 days. That date passed on June 25th...... Lesson learned as pilot in command I control my paper work and am the responsible party. I guess it's the same as running my contracts at work, I don't let anyone make decisions or run willie nillie with the budget unless I agree since I am the Project Engineer or in aviation terms the PIC.

Today will be soft and short filed take off and landings. I think I remember this (it's only been 3 weeks). N99 has the new taxiway open to runway 9, very smooth and wide......great job Brandywine !! I complete my run up and make the appropriate calls as I begin my nose up roll to takeoff with 10* of flaps. In review a bit to slow on round ing to take off but make better on the following attempts. Leveling off after wheels up and gaining speed in ground effect I hold level as I gain airspeed and raise the flaps as I clear obstacles. Needing to correct for the wind (and slow to do so)I find myself trimming for best rate of climb as I scan the area as push way wide of my pattern. Ugggghhhh.........Correcting course to get back to where I need to be I start to feel it all coming back (notes "start" to feel).

Landing speeds are good today notinbg a few drops below 60kts on final for a softfield. My CFI says its not nice to scare the Examiner.....or for that matter give him reason for concern. I make it a point to better control my approach speed. The next few are better and then the dreaded engine out simulation. Not a bad place to happen on downwind, if its going to happen that is, so I proceed with the flow ABCDE......A= Airspeed trim for 65 kts., B= best field , I'm there, C= checklists, I start with fuel, mixture, throttle, aux pump, mags, restart. D=Declare I state that I am over the field so I don't waste time switching to squawk 7700 instead I would announce on CTAF at the field since that is where I was tuned. E= exit strategy......I am landing this bird so I hold off on this step to concentrate on adding flaps and a getting there. I did slip a bit to loose some alt. And I was told that will be a bust on the checkride, instead I was advised to acknowledge the placard but explain the emergency situation and getting on the ground. Another lesson learned.

As I am about to flair I am told to go around..... Remember that starts to feel comment? Well big time brain fart, full throttle, level, airspeed climbing take out notch of flaps, then I forget to make for best angle of climb speed 60 kts. Instead after positive airspeed climb I took out a second notch of flaps............UGHhhhhh not pretty, felt stupid. We worked on this a few more times until I was smoooooth. Yes, that's on the agenda for practice tomorrow.

All in all not to bad for 3 weeks off. I will go at it tomorrow and Sunday to get back in the swing of it. It felt really great getting back in 46C. My CFI did not let me leave until we scheduled the mock checkride (July 13th 8:30 am) and oral test prep/ground school (July 13th 5:30 pm). I am calling to schedule my checkride on the 17th or 18th. Yes, I am nervous, worried about the oral and not screwing up the flight portion with any brain farts. I have read over the forums that your CFI will not "turn you loose" unless they feel your ready....God I hope so. Now where did I leave that rosary?

One sad note tonight is a follow up with our Italian Mastiff, Maggie. While playing "wild hair game" this morning she made a loop around the dining room and charged up the stairs then down only to blow out her ACL. Yes, i said ACL, unreal, she can't put any weight on it and we just returned tonight from the vet clinic. She is looking at $2000 worth of surgery with a donor ligamnet and the weeks of therapy including pool time. Worse news...she also tore her right leg/knee ACL but for now that is holding. I guess 110 lbs jumping down 5-6 staris to the next level is not a good thing. More to follow.

No comments: