Friday, November 21, 2008

Solo Practice 15: Last solo flight as a student pilot (I hope!)

Plane: Cessna 150
Route: 40I, Local
Weather: Partly cloudy, 29 degrees, wind 290 degrees at 9 knots

Once again, I'll be brief since I'm about to head to bed early to get lots of rest prior to the checkride tomorrow. The weather is forecast to be quite beautiful (aside from frigid temperatures) so I should be able to go up and fly with the examiner and finish this thing!

I decided to leave work a bit early this afternoon and headed down to Waynesville for a short flight. It was certainly cold out and I had some trouble getting 60338 started, even with six shots of primer. After a short discussion with some folks, a mechanic came out and suggested I feed in more fuel through the primer as soon as the engine started to fire. Voila. Due to the extreme cold, I let the engine run for about 5-10 minutes until the oil had warmed up enough for the temperature gauge to be in the green arc.

Having lost some time while figuring out how to bring the engine to life, I elected to stay around Stewart. I alternated between normal, soft field, and short field takeoffs and all went very well including my crosswind correction. Landings also all felt (drum roll, given my performance as of late) great for the first time in forever. The strong headwind didn't hurt, but my normal and soft field landings were very smooth and I held the nose up well on rollout. The headwind really made for fun short field landings too, as I (and I measured) landed the little Cessna in under 400 feet from touchdown to turning off the runway! Gotta love a 150 with 40 degrees of flaps and a moderate headwind, it really is fun in a nerdy pilot sort of way.

Tomorrow's the (second) big day. If all goes as planned, I'll have me a temporary certificate in 24 hours. Expect a fully detailed write-up as soon as I can get all my thoughts down.

Today's Flight: 0.9 hours
Solo/PIC Time: 26.5 hours
Total Time: 71.8 hours