Posts Tagged ‘solo’


Putzing around in the practice area

13 October 2007 – 18:42 CDT

Went out today and did my first solo to, from, and in the practice area today. The wind might have kept me on the ground, it was 7 knots gusting to 11. But it was within the parameters of my endorsement and was a great day to fly otherwise. Mostly I just wandered around. Did a little bit of slow flight – not quite stalls – and a few steep turns. Figured I’d take it easy on the first flight out there. Need to work on my CTAF calls though. Came back and entered the pattern downwind at the midfield as instructed, but the landing came faster than I expected. It was a little rough, but nothing bent. Building up my solo time slowly, 4 hours now.

More landings (back-dated)

12 October 2007 – 18:40 CDT

15 landings between two different flights since going up last time withthe IP. They seemed to go fine. Not perfect, but certainly they seem much easier now. Only did 5 of them today because I was trying to figure out why the oil pressure went past the green during climb out, so I brought it back and talked to one of the IPs who said it is normal for that plane. Don’t know the planes well enough so I figured I’d come back down before I wreck the engine.

Landings (back-dated)

2 October 2007 – 18:28 CDT

A few back-dated entries since I haven’t been keeping up. Flew the pattern for a while, was trying some solo landings for the first time since the first solo with my IP about two weeks ago. The first few went okay, the last two were not as good – pretty much bounced down the runway. Figured I should quit before I bent the plane.

First solo

20 September 2007 – 21:12 CDT

First solo tonight. Wasn’t feeling 100%, but couldn’t decide if it was because I’m still sick or because of nerves, so I decided to just suck it up and go. We were scheduled for 12 touch-and-gos, and then for me to do 3 on my own. We did 4 and the instructor decided that was enough and took the plane in for a full stop where he got out and went up to the tower.

I taxied around the local news chopper who was warming up and then out to runway 22 and did another run-up. Called up the tower and they told me to hold short. Switched the transponder back to standby because the checklist said not to switch it to active until I was ready for takeoff. Mis-heard my pattern clearance as “left closed traffic” because thats what we’ve been doing so much. The tower was being nice and giving me right traffic to help me avoid the hot air balloon north of the field. Except, we usually don’t fly right traffic, so I had basically no ground references except the field itself, which turned out to be mostly fine.

The first two touch-and-gos I thought were fine. Called the tower for a full stop, and they said the instructor wanted me to do another touch-and-go. Pretty much botched that attempt, was way left of center after crossing over the numbers and ended up touching down pretty hard. In retrospect, I probably should have gone around.

Called up the tower on the downwind for a real full stop this time, and was given clearance to land. Then I hear “Bolton tower, Cessna one-six-niner-four-echo midfield touch and go”. The guy who called the tower was actually flying 9547W. I was flying 94E. After a few seconds, the tower asked him “Uhm, did you mean four-seven-whiskey?” Yes, he did, but for a few seconds I wasn’t sure what to do. Fortunately the KTZR tower guys are great and very forgiving of student pilots. I managed to make the 4th landing, but bounced it a little bit after coming down too hard.

Turned off the runway and told the tower I was clear of the active and he gave me clearance to taxi. Cleaning up (FCTL), I realized the transponder mistake. Taxied back to the ramp and managed to park dead center on the T. The instructor cut my shirt, and we got to put 0.5 solo hours in my logbook. I flew the plane by myself! Many years ago as a kid watching the F4s scream overhead in and out of Wright Pat, I wanted to fly. And now I’m well on my way to actually becoming a pilot.

Another 9 landings and 1.7 hours in the book.