Thursday, January 3, 2008

Solo #2 and Cross Country flights

Finally, after 5 cancelled lessons because of weather, we were able to fly to Rome, GA (KRMG). It was the first 'dual' cross country flight and kind of a reconnaissance mission. By pre-planning the direct course we knew what heading to fly directly there was, but you also have to compensate for wind direction. So after getting the winds aloft forecast for that day I was able to interpolate our proposed heading. From there you must reference ground points along the sectional chart to make sure you are on track. There are two smoke stacks in Cartersville that are great reference points because you can see them from miles away! We stayed on course well enough and had no problems finding the airport and it only took about 30 minutes to get there. We did 3 landings and takeoffs and then went to order lunch and let the pilot pee, he has his mother's bladder.... :) Then I took the plane up by myself for kind of like a second solo. It felt as comfortable if not more comfortable than the first time and they were all safe landings. My third landing may have "hopped" more than once, but other than that it was successful! We took off and motored back to PDK for another "uneventful" flight. It is much easier flying back with all of the ground reference points along the way that I am familiar with.

Today I flew back to Rome, but this time I was the Lone Ranger! This was the first time flying solo x-country and it was pretty cool. Since of course we had just flown the same course the day before, today was pretty easy. I still checked my time distances between ground points, but this time I just tried to pay attention to flying the plane and looking out for other traffic. I did see a C-130 on downwind landing at Dobbins! That was pretty cool, you could see the plume of smoke behind it which made it even easier to pick out in the air. Both landings I hopped at least once and I think it's because of "rounding out" a little too early and coming in with a few too many knots of speed. Of course I don't want the nose wheel to strike first and maybe that's my problem. Who knows, I'm still going for the formula (x=y) or better known as (takeoffs=landings)!

Lake Allatoona - Looks like a good place for a "forced landing" with the lake down as much as it is. I can remember skiing in that same cove and freaking out that I could stand, touching the mud. I was freaking out because it was in my boat and didn't know that it was so shallow.....

Rome, GA airport KRMG. Notice the big 'X' for the runway no longer in use.


Sandy & Dick said...

That's a mighty cute fella! Congrats on the successful x-country. We knew you could do it! Love ya, Mom and Dad

Joy said...

Congratulations, Brian! And yes, I think it is a good idea to "pay attention to flying the plane"! :-)