Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Solo Practice 8: Closed airport = takeoff and landing practice

Plane: Cessna 150
Route: 40I-MGY-40I
Weather: High overcast, 72 degrees, wind 130 degrees at 5 knots

Well I had been planning to make my second solo cross-country down to Fleming-Mason Airport (FGX) in Kentucky tonight. But in checking the NOTAMs while flight planning, I realized the runway was closed for construction. Add to that incoming storms from the South and I decided it was better to stay local than plan a last-minute cross-country. Plus, I feel like my landings have been slipping lately and wanted some practice on pavement. So with all that in mind I did some work at Stewart and then headed over to Dayton Wright Brothers.

After eight takeoffs and landings between the two airports, I could sense some improvement. I'll get straight to the point and say I can still make vast improvements. The fundamentals are there, but I'm at a stage where I want to be more precise in all aspects of my flying. I need to watch my speed better on approach. I need to improve my multitasking to anticipate actions so I don't get behind the plane with radio calls, lowering the flaps, and establishing my approach. I also want to focus more on nailing down the proper speeds and trim settings to aid in stabilizing my climbs, descents, and approaches.

Video of some of my takeoffs and landings

Other than the laundry list of things that are bugging me, I did enjoy today's flight. Even with the incoming weather and associated clouds it was a comfortable, smooth day in the sky. The leaves are starting to change too so the views out the window are very nice. It was fun to just work on landings and I always enjoy a smooth liftoff from a paved runway. My final approach and landing at MGY was stable and almost smooth. I'm still not rounding out and flaring perfectly and it's getting annoying at this point. Thankfully, I nailed a really smooth landing on my return to Stewart and it felt great.

In related news, today's cross-country is now Thursday's cross-country. Not totally sure where I'm going yet, but likely candidates are to the North of Columbus or off to the West towards Indianapolis. This whole weekend will be a flying extravaganza with the solo XC Thursday, a night lesson Friday, a day and night lesson Saturday, and my long solo XC on Sunday. Hooray for aviating!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File
Today's Flight: 1.6 hours
Solo/PIC Time: 12.1 hours
Total Time: 43.5 hours

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