Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Restarted, Again....

I FINALLY got in the air again tonight with Rich. Two months since my last flight, with work and weather, a weekend away, and Rich's schedule, nothing seemed to work right for the last 8 weeks. My solo endorsement expired a day or two after my last flight, so I was grounded until I could fly with Rich. Since John had been the one to solo me, Rich wanted to fly with me and run through some basic airwork and pattern work before he signed me off to fly solo. It finally came together tonight, and what a gorgeous night it was! It's been severe clear here for the last few days, but cold and very windy. All through the day the wind was variable from 320 to 020 with wind speeds up to 19 and gusting to 29 knots. It was forecast to die down, and it did, so when Rich and I took off at about 7 p.m., the wind was steady at 7 knots.

The clear air meant that everything looked close. From our perch 3,000 feet in the air, we could see two ski slopes in the distance, lit up for night skiing, Baltimore, Washington, Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport.... It was beautiful.

First we practiced some forward slips at a high altitude, then we flew over to Carroll County to practice some landings. I did slips to a landing, short-field, soft-field landings, short- and soft-field takeoffs. In all, I did five landings, which completes my requirement for night take-offs and landings.

At the end of the night, Rich endorsed my logbook so that I can fly solo for another 90 days. He also signed me off to fly repeatedly to Carroll County. That now makes two airports I can fly to, including Frederick.

I'm cramming in preparation for the oral portion of the practical exam, and if the weather holds up I've got several flights scheduled with Rich over the next several days to polish off the last few things I need to work on before my checkride. Unless something goes awry with the weather or my schedule, I could be ready before this weekend is over....

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