Lately, my flying has been a lot like my blog posts. Sporadic. It’s similar to the beginning of my training, a mixture of my own schedule, the person I’m flying with, and the weather. Mostly it’s my schedule and the weather since the time has come to focus on solo flights and build my confidence with controlling the aircraft in certain patterns. Of course, I’m doing them VFR alone. So far, I have three under my belt.
My old insecurities came back a bit with radio work and there were some slip ups, but nothing huge the first time around. The first two lessons did build up my confidence. I was rocking the maneuvers and the landing were pretty good. I also took off the opposite way the airport normally operates without batting an eyelash – I had only done it once before. Being reminded that I can fly a plane by myself is always a big deal to me. Maybe it’ll get old the more I fly alone, maybe not.
Then a huge gap happened between my second and third flight. Life got in the way. Almost 3 and a half weeks passed. The rust built up and it showed. I remembered to practice my maneuvers: steep turns, stalls, etc.
When it was time to start the maneuvers, it really started to go down hill. That’s an exaggeration and I know it, but my altitude was all over the place and I got confused with the stupid teardrop hold. After I had finished doing the first pattern, about 12 minutes in, I noticed the carb heat was left on. I had never pushed it back in after stalling! Crap! That might have explained some of the performance changes I was struggling with as far as RPM not keeping my altitude. I set it to cold and I was thankful it wasn’t the reversed situation.
My maneuvers still weren’t on point, by that time I was frustrated. I intended to stay out longer and do the more difficult maneuver but I knew it was time to call it quits. All the confidence I’d built up on the other two solo lessons was pretty much lost.
When I got back on the ground, I told Jake I needed his eyes on the next time before my last solo flight. See if I was doing anything very wrong that he could fix. Now comes finding the time!
Solo time: 3.4
Total Time: 129.3