Monday, July 3, 2017

Finally notching some Skyhawk time

Plane: Cessna 172
Instructor: Jamie
Route: 40I-I19-40I
Weather: Scattered clouds, 84 degrees, wind light and variable

It's been some time since I sat in the left seat of the Skyhawk, nearly 10 months in fact. Our return flight from Boston via Albany last year is the last time I was behind 14L's controls. Aside from the general lack of currency, I'd like to take Mariella for her first flight soon - and to do that, I need to be able to competently fly the 172 again.

Jamie texted me the other day to let me know he had an opening, as we've been trying to set this up for a couple weeks. I did a thorough preflight while we chatted on the ground. There was more than two hours of fuel onboard so once I fired up the O-300 we were ready to fly.

It was another great summer afternoon for aviating

I took off on Runway 26 and made two laps around the pattern. I came in a little low on the first one but managed to finish the approach with a smooth landing. The next time around was more stable and the landing was again quite soft. We then departed the pattern to the east, climbing up over the lake to do a few steep turns. While all were borderline acceptable, they were far from my finest. I'll have to put in a bit more time working on maneuvers next time I'm up in the sky practicing solo.

Today's vaguely triangular route across the countryside

Wanting to practice on pavement and having not been there in a while (the logbook says May 2013 when we met pilot friend Samuel there, in fact!) we decided to land at Greene County. I came in a tad fast and landed long but the touchdown was smooth. Lifting off again on Runway 25 on the subsequent takeoff, Jamie pulled the power and I touched back down on the pavement during the simulated engine failure. I departed again sans instructor shenanigans and climbed back to 2,000 feet and headed straight for Waynesville.

My final landing was probably the best of the bunch, with my speeds on target and a soft touchdown followed by the shortest rollout of the day. Similar to the Cub, it's crazy just how much flying the 172 is like riding a bike... it came right back to me even after a lengthy break. Obviously there's more than stick and rudder skills when it comes to currency but I'm looking forward to getting up again soon.

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.1 hours
Total Time: 375.0 hours