I took some raw ginger about an hour before my flight and I thought it was helping with my nausea. I felt great up until after a few maneuvers. At that point, just a little bit of queasiness hit me. Skip took this as an opportunity to show me more of the autopilot. At this point I asked a question that I’m assuming many pilots have asked at some point while in the air, “Where are we?” Skip told me to look around I found Punta Gorda to my left, and then he said to bring out my chart. I found the group of tall antennas out of my window, and I found it on my sectional chart. Identifying landmarks gives you a pretty close idea of where you in the world. To really know where you are you can navigate by VOR. VHF omnidirectional radio range beacons are devices located on the floor that broadcasts a separate signal in all directions of the compass. You can tune in to that beacon and know where you are on one line from that VOR. Tune into a second VOR the same way, and where the two lines intersect you have your position.
On our way back to Page Field, we listen to a lot of chatter. I guess a holiday and great weather brings out the pilots. We enter the downwind for runway 05 and our ATC was about to give us clearance to land number 2 but then decided that he didn’t like that spacing so he asked us to make a 360 to the right. Remember Turns about a point? We picked a buoy just off the shore of the river and reentered the downwind in the same
spot we left it, but two minutes later.
We line up with the runway for a touch and go, and I complete my first unassisted landing. Let me describe my first landing without any physical help from my Flight Instructor in one word: BOOM. It wasn’t a plane-bending landing, just a bit harder than what I was used to. Skip reassures me that I’ll get better at them.
Moments after my less-than-perfect landing, we remove flaps and apply full power for another take off and make a right turn to stay in the traffic pattern.
Our controller asks us to extend our downwind to allow traffic to land in front of us. A quick push of the microphone confirms that instruction, and Skip says “Perfect! We just practiced slow flight!” So I put our trusty C-172 in slow configuration and look for the plane in front of us. We pull the plane in for a nice landing ( I think he helped this time)
In a matter of minutes I put into practice things that were recently taught to me: turns around a point and slow flight. It’s not everyday you get taught something and use it so soon (when was the last time you used the quadratic equation?)
Have I mentioned I really love flying?
Here is a picture of my my flying route from that day.
Download the Google Earth kmz file here: 20FEB2012.kmz
Just the numbers
Total Hours: 4.1
Total Dual: 4.1
Total Solo: 0.0