I’ve just about got everything I need pulled together to send back to the FAA for my medical, and I’ve got a couple of flights to get in before our Labor Day vacation, so tonight we went out and did some night flying. I’ve always enjoyed flying at night. It’s so calm, typically very few bumps and nearly no wind, and you can see beacons miles and miles away. We started just as it was getting dark, partly to make it easier to get the plane untied and ready to go, partly to let my eyes get used to the sight picture as it gradually got darker and darker.
My first couple of landings were to be expected, I didn’t hammer the airplane onto the ground, but I did round out a bit late and touch down before I’d expected to. I have to say, Pete is pretty good at letting me figure it out as long as it’s not dangerous to us or the equipment. My first instructor had a disconcerting habit of putting his hands and feet on the controls, and I was never really sure if I’d pulled off the landing on my own, or if he’d secretly put the airplane to rights. That or he would grasp his knees in a Titanic effort to avoid taking the controls.
So, overall I was enjoying myself pretty well, but Pete wanted to get our work in, so he kept messing with me. Once without the landing light, one without the panel lights, one landing he let me forget to reset the runway light timer and they went out just as I was beginning my flare, two simulated engine failures on downwind (one in which I turned waaaaaay too early… who knew you could turn too early in a Cherokee with 30 degrees of flaps?), and so on. But, steady on, I got my 10 landings in, and we’ll do a night cross-country after my vacation. This weekend we’ll do our long cross-country, and I’ll probably do one flight next week before we pack and head south for the holiday.
Posted By: Brett FerrellThursday August 23rd, 2012 at 8:48 PM