Today was a good day! I didn’t finish my instrument time because waiting for that VOR to be put back in the plane because it will be on the checkride. My CFI and I sat down before the flight and went over what my checkride would look like as told to him by the DPE. So I now know where the plan my flight to, what VOR we’ll use, where I’ll divert to and I can use the GPS for that, and then we’ll go into maneuvers from there.
We ran into the other owner of the flight school and his student coming back from a flight. I do enjoy talking to other students a lot. The instructors went away from us to talk about something, so we just chatted. He just did his first dual XC, which is exciting for him.
The wind was -let’s say- healthy today. We were reviewing ground reference maneuvers since it’s been a long time since I’ve done them. Having a strong wind was a challenge, I wouldn’t go with that strong of a wind on a checkride so it could only get easier! First was turns around a point, we used a lighthouse. I entered it with the wind coming from behind, and just kept circling to get it down. I wasn’t always going far enough when heading into the wind and the lighthouse would get closer. I was always able to fix it and it got better the more I did. There was a 30kt difference in our ground speed from headwind to tailwind, it was a bit crazy.
Next up was S turns along a rode, we used a bridge actually. Set up to enter on the downwind. I ended up doing three complete “S”s. I think my CFI was being nitpicky about when I leveled the wings since sometimes I’d level them two seconds before hitting the road, but I’m glad to have nitpickiness. They seemed pretty good to me. With the strong wind, I could really feel when the wind started pushing me on the second “c” of the “S”
No rectangular course, that’s the traffic pattern, I got that. Next was slow flight. I just need to remember to add a touch more (well, it’s actually a touch but the throttle gets pushed in a lot it feels like) during turns, but it was all within PTS.
Steeps turns again! I struggled a bit to the left and wasn’t within PTS, the right was passing. We did two more to the left. I got the sight picture and my last one to the left was great, lost less than 50ft. We did one to the right for good measure and it was pretty good. Now, I just need to learn to do that the first time!
We worked on crosswind landings. I was struggling a bit, it was getting pretty gusty. The first one was okay. The second one – ick. Third one was without flaps, I touched down pretty nice and straight though. The last two we put in only 20 degrees of flaps versus the regular full 30 degrees. It helped a lot, I didn’t feel like I was being pushed around as much. I wasn’t on the center line both times, but my ground track was much better. Crosswind landings are definitely working until the very end.
Taxied back to the hangar so he could change the tires on the 152. Another student was actually scheduled and he came over to me while my CFI was grabbing his car from the FBO (they were sealing our normal ramp spot so things were a bit wonky today). We chatted, he had such a confidence about him. I thought he was a private pilot already, but I’m actually ahead of him. He was heading out for his long solo XC. Maybe I need to have more confidence like that? I don’t know, I know my flying is good but I’m more of a humble (timid?) person – you know, when actually talking to people, on here I’m awesome! 😛 But I know a lot of the flying culture is about confidence.
I was excited for after my lesson! I was having coffee with the flight lead of the Geico Skytypers! They are based out of Republic and when they’re back I always get to taxi by them. I was curious about them and googled them. I sent the flight lead an email saying how I like taxiing by the planes. I said I’d love to watch them practice, if they ever practice in the area. I got an email in return saying we should have coffee! Awesome!
He works for an airline too and weather was bad last week so it took a bit to coordinate and today was the day it worked out. He gave me a signed pamphlet of the Skytypers and we talked about that sort of flying and each of our background. He did say I wasn’t the type of person they look for to fly for them (whoa, not what I was thinking about anyway – but wait, now I think I want to after that comment) but it’s because they normally use military guys. Only two guys (they’re all guys) aren’t former military pilots, him and one other guy.
He showed me a video of them flying their awesome T6s – they’re actually SNJ-2s, which is the Navy version. I talked about what I wanted to do with aviation and also about taking aerobatic lessons. There isn’t anyone at FRG who teaches that, he said he’d help me look for someone at another nearby airport. He also took me to their hangar to meet the mechanics and said I should stop by when the planes are back and I see the hangar open and say I’m his friend to check them out for a closer look.
Lastly, he said next spring he’ll take me up with them when they have a skytyping job! I really hope that happens! I’d love that. He said if he has a maintenance flight before then he’ll call me up and let me go with him. It’s such an amazing plane and I can’t wait to fly in it. I just have to remember to keep up a relationship in some form with him, which I want to do, I just feel I’m quite bad at it. We’ll see what happens! You never know what a long way an email can go if you don’t send it!
Lesson Time: 1.6 hours
Total Time: 57.9 hours