So the last major milestone to my pilot’s certificate was the long solo cross-country. I’ll just cop to it right now, I started the morning out feeling well prepared for the flight. The forecast was great for the morning, which should give me plenty of time to do everything I needed to do, but the winds were supposed to get high and gusty around 2 pm. I got Pete to sign my flight plan off, and sign me off for the knowledge exam which I’ve scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. He headed off and I jumped into the airplane. The Warrior’s battery has never really been strong, and you need to be really careful particularly on hot starts. Somehow I flooded it. I guess I was anxious to get started. I then tried to clear the engine, but with the weak battery it was soon just too low to crank. Frustrated I canceled my flight and left Pete a message, then Beth and I went to lunch. By the time Pete got back to me it was afternoon. He thought we could get the plane started, so we met at the airport. Of course he got it to fire right up. But, now I was nervous about the winds, but I got ready to depart. Then I realized I’d left my iPad at home. I was studying for the test on Tuesday and didn’t put it back in the car. Dangit. But I did have my iphone to use as a GPS.
The flight itself was OK, it was a bit bumpy down low as the wind picked up. The winds were over 10 knots everywhere, and gusty, but they were pretty much on the runway everywhere oddly enough. I was a bit nervous, though, setting up for the first landing, and gave the tower the wrong information, telling him I was to the SW and not the SE. I’m not sure but that’s the one mistake I make repeatedly when I’m stressed. I need to get better about thinking before I start talking in these cases. The controller caught me, and I pleaded my student status, but he was very, very nice about it. On the climbout from Muncie, though I noticed the ground getting a little fuzzy. Yikes. There was some surface obscuration in the area. I stayed a bit low until I was well East of the airport, to the extent that Dayton had trouble initially picking up my transponder. Once I was able to climb back up to 4,500′ they got me no problem though.
In other news, my camera battery didn’t hold out again, so I’m getting some new ones for my contour. I didn’t use my typical digital audio recorder this time, either, since last time it and the camera got out of sync about a second or two every half an hour. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s annoying when you’re watching a video.
But, needless to say, I flew in suboptimal conditions and did fine. I got my major solo hurdle out of the way, and hopefully will get the knowledge exam knocked out this week too. With any luck I’ll be ready for my flight exam by the end of the month.
Posted By: Brett FerrellSaturday October 13th, 2012 at 11:57 PM