Thursday, October 10, 2013

Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full

Plane: Cessna 172
Instructor: Jamie
Weather: Clear, 60 degrees, wind calm

As with many flights this year, tonight's was multi-purpose. Jamie wanted to go up and fly a few approaches under the hood. I wanted to maintain my night currency, which was due to expire this coming weekend. We also had an opportunity to go up in the tower at Dayton International Airport - as it so happens, Jamie's neighbor is a controller there.

We met at Wright Brothers after dark (remember, no lights at Stewart) and took off close to 21:00. Jamie took off and then I steered us towards DAY as he dialed in the ATIS. Columbus Approach soon had us on radar and handed us off to the tower, which Sean (the neighborly controller) was manning. He cleared us straight in on Runway 36 from around 6 miles out.

I held three whites and one red on the PAPI, transitioning to two and two on short final. We were cleared for the option so I opted for a stop-and-go. Simplest way to hit the full-stop requirement for night currency, especially on an 8500 foot runway! Seconds later we were climbing out, then turning right downwind while a regional jet landed on our recently-vacated runway.

So that's what I look like on a radar scope!

Sean informed us while we were in the pattern that the tower was short staffed this evening. Unfortunately, meant no tour; he couldn't take a break and bring us up. We were disappointed but still appreciated the good service. The airport was almost completely dead and we made two more trips around the pattern.

After our final takeoff, we said our goodbyes. Jamie asked permission for a flyby. In true form, Sean came back over the radio with, "negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full." He also told us this may have been the first time he's ever cleared a plane for takeoff with a left turnout direct MGY. I guess those airline pilots don't like to fly to the regional airport 19 miles away.

Downtown Dayton, OH

Since we were also having intermittent issues with the Mode C on the transponder (not again!) Jamie decided to skip the practice approaches. So he left the hood off and we simply treated the entire flight as instructional. He pointed out a few things while in the pattern at DAY and I always enjoy having a CFI onboard. The flight also marked my second Class C airport in under two months. Not bad, considering I hadn't ever even landed at one prior to August!

Long final for Runway 20 at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport

Short final at MGY

As we approached Wright Brothers, we could see a long line of cars on I-75. Getting closer, I noticed the traffic was stopped. Looked like a semi had overturned or spilled something. We were certainly glad to be zooming past overhead rather than in a dead stop on the highway.

I crossed midfield, entering a left downwind for Runway 20. Jamie took the controls at that point so he could log another night landing for his own currency. Total greaser, if I might add. We tied the plane down and said our goodbyes. Since I live around the corner, I'll be heading back in the morning to ferry the 172 back to Stewart.

And for the record, the pattern at DAY wasn't full. Just sayin'.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 0.9 hours
Total Time: 292.0 hours

No comments:

Post a Comment