Halloween Weekend 2010, this was a special event. No one knew what to expect, but it was entertaining and it was good to see a bunch of really good people come out for such a rational event.
In case you haven’t checked it out lately, or didn’t know about it… There is a map of the Handstands I have done.
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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