Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sweet Freedom

I flew up to Frederick today, went around the pattern a couple times, then flew to the practice area southwest of Carroll County. What a gorgeous day to fly! The sky was clear of haze (rare in the mid-Atlantic), the leaves below are in various stages of changing color.... Blue above, reds, yellows, and greens below, and I can't imagine anything better than flying on a day like today. Sugarloaf Mountain was in sharp relief to my left as I flew to Frederick, I think for the first time ever. There was some wind, and a mild crosswind. I haven't had much experience with heavier crosswinds because my endorsement includes a limitation of a 5 knot crosswind, but I'm pretty much at a point where I correct for light crosswinds without having to really think about it.

My two landings in Frederick were good, not greasers but no real bumps either, although I did balloon slightly just after one touchdown. It wasn't really a bounce, because there was no impact, I just kind of touched down, then ballooned up a couple feet, then touched down again.

When I got to the practice area I decided I'd do some stalls, so I did. It's funny, my earliest blog entries are so full of fear about the stalls, and now they are just non-events. In between stalls I called for my ADIZ clearance, and continued practicing while I waited for ATC to recognize my transponder code. Climbing up, stalling down, blue skies, beautiful leaves.... I'm in awe of how wonderful this was. Then, when ATC called my code, I headed back for an uneventful late-afternoon landing on 32 with the sun in my eyes.

Another pilot walked over to help me push 35R back into the parking spot and introduced himself. It turned out he's also an attorney, with the DOJ's Civil Division. He said he mostly does constitutional violations, which I think means equitable remedies, injunctions, etc. Anyway, he's a member of another club at GAI that I've been considering joining in addition to my current club. I've been frustrated with the lack of available planes in my club, and his club has good rates and four planes, and is less populated. I'll think about it some more.

Anyway, great flight!

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