Once you step away from the touristy areas, it isn't all that upscale in Cozumel. I love the "ALTO" sign.
Sadly, I had to leave the Hokie Flying Club, who I learned how to fly with. I got to fly for the last time (for now) this past Tuesday. I was in Blacksburg to fly, resign from the club and to work.
We finished flying an hour earlier than expected, so I used that time to sneak over to the Tech Bookstore and grab something to help my transition to being a South Carolinian. I got some Hokie “Croakies”.
Sooo, that is that. I’m back in Arlington for now with a move-in date of April 30th!
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2 New Handstands!
If i go from Blacksburg->Danville->NewRiver->Blacksburg… That is 150.4 ooo I love minimums Might end up doing that instead to make it more straight forward, being my first solo XC and all.
I have to plan this flight out and get it approved on Saturday, but I should be flying it for my long solo cross country (Which must have a leg which is at least 50nm and must be 150nm total at least). This flight will have a 64nm flight to Danville and will be 154.6nm total, so just right!
Excited/stressed to plan/hope weather is good.
Blacksburg->Danville->”Blue Ridge Airport”->New River->Blacksburg (154.6nm)
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Bewow is my dual cross country to Lewisburg that we flew this morning.
The GREEN and RED (My GPS probably lost signal for a few seconds? a minute?) are where we flew.
The BLUE was where we were “supposed” to go. Well, we had Blacksburg->Lewisburg planned real well, but that was about it…
3 Solo Tower Controlled Landings to a full stop at Lewisburg.
After that, the next leg to Bluefield came out of the “blue” (ha!) and was different from where we planned (Beckely, WV) because we had to get the plane back for the next guy. We then diverted off “course” from Bluefield back to Blacksburg and I learned how to triangulate using the VOR.
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- More Dual Cross Country – (Lewisburg Cross Country, Will get tower controlled TO&Ls as well as hopefully be ready for solo cross country)
- A little over an hour of instrument work
- Night dual cross country and TO&Ls (This can all be done in one night by going to Mountain Empire, Hillsville and back, 108.4nm total)
- Solo Cross Countries (5 hours minimum, at least one that is 150nm with a straight leg between airports of 50nm)
- Practical Preparation (Lots of studying, oral review and in flight review)
- Practical Exam
Tonight I am going up with my instructor for my first stab at night flying, and that will prepare us for our dual night cross country of 100nm+.
Thursday it is off to Lewisburg, WV for more dual cross country practice and 3 Take offs and Landings at a Tower controlled airport.
If I finish, I can do this…
Today was my first cross country flight!
Blacksburg (KBCB) -> Bluefield (KBLF) @ 4500′
Bluefield (KBLF) -> New River (KPSK) @ 5500′
New River (KPSK) -> Blacksburg (KBCB)
So, my first leg got off to a not so great start. We ended up in Princeton, WV which I thought was Bluefield and that got me all turned around, finally we started to loop around the “town” and the airport was off to my right, I was a little confused, but it all makes sense when you look at the GPS track. (We weren’t allowed to use anything but the compass and the map for the flight) Anyways, it was a good day and first Cross Country experience because I learned how important it is to stay on your heading, correct when you can do so, and if you have gone as far as you planned, and you’re not there… something is going awry.
Well, it was odd that on our last short leg we were really low on fuel in our left tank and the right was pretty much full. After we were back in Blacksburg we found out that we’d been flying the whole day without a gas cap on the right wing. I guess it wasn’t put on securely after fueling up the plane. This made sense of the left tank being low (it was the only tank with suction to the tank). In any case, the new guy “Hop” (Last name ‘Hopper’) from LC’s flying service (Blacksburg’s new F.B.O.) helped us search for us and the maintenance guy from Blacksburg (Jim) was finally able to find it on the taxi way down towards where you turn onto the runway. Well, that was a lucky day!
Well, definitely a fun (at times mildly nerve racking) first cross country flight!
Well, I forgot to turn on my GPS until I got to New River Valley Airport (KPSK), but once we landed there I turned it on.
Once at KPSK, my instructor got out and let me do 3 take off and landings. Then I used some makeshift instrument goggles and on the way back to the Virginia Tech Airport (KBCB). Once back in Blacksburg, I did one more takeoff and landing and I got cleared to fly to KPSK by myself! If it’s a nice day, I just have to call up my instructor and he has to “OK” me going.
Today was a much better day then the last day of soloing. I felt a lot more comfortable up there.
Here is a map of what I did after landing at New River Valley Airport.
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Yeah… so not as awesome as day one. Started out with 3 Take Off and Landings (TO&Ls) with Cecil and my 3rd was a good pattern and a good landing. He asked if I wanted to try solo and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity.
It stinks that there is construction currently and you have to back-taxi down the runway. This caused me to have to back taxi before every takeoff.
I made it back in one piece after each of my 3 solo TO&Ls, but it wasn’t very smooth.
- My patterns weren’t consistent,
- I had a big jump in altitude in one of them (150ft),
- I ran up some higher RPMs when I wasn’t trusting the numbers when turning base to final,
- There was some choppy air and peak gusts at 7,
- My last landing dolphined a bit and bounced a little (Lee and Rachel from the flying club were watching this last landing which was kind of embarassing).
Anyways, I was happy I got that experience, but I will focus on trusting the numbers, and flying smoothly the next time up. If the weather is good, We’ll be heading over to KPSK and he might let me do some TO&Ls there.
UPDATE: Here’s the track I took.
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