I flew my first cross country today. I charted my course towards Bridgeport, TX but enroute we discovered the Bridgeport runway was closed so we flew 15 miles West to Jacksboro. This was my first flight that required a sectional (essentially a sky map), calculating wind direction to get my heading right, and flight details to be worked up in advance. There was a 10+knot crosswind that kept pushing me off my course. And the plane I was in, a Cessna 172, kept wanting to ascend or descend, but wouldn't faithfully stay level.

One thing I learned today: don't forget to pack a drink!!

I also learned how to get my bearings using VOR signals, doing the 4 C's (Confess you're lost, Climb up to get perspective & radio signals, Circle around, Call in for help), and by recognizing land markings in relation to the sectional. The sectional doesn't have minor roads and farms and housing communities that you can easily see. Instead you have to look for lakes, cities, tower structures, and major roads.

Neither of my landings were great today. Actually, my touch downs were fine but my approach both times sucked. Both times I came in too high. At Jacksboro I had a bit of lake effect right at the edge of the runway. At Air Park I was tired and my timing to slow the craft was off.

Yesterday I also flew. I did instrumentation training and looked for VOR signals. It was boring and frustrating. I couldn't get my heading right to pick up the signal- there was a delay in getting the signal. I also flew "under the hood" which means I wear "foggles". This prevents me from seeing outside. I'm supposed to only focus on instruments. I'm ok at it but I prefer to see where I'm going. I don't plan to fly into fog, eh, ever. If I can safely avoid it. :-)

BTW, that's not me to the right.

Tomorrow I do my first night flying lesson! I'm little excited and lot of nervous about this. I have a fear of not seeing where I'm going. This is true of walking across a room at night. Much more so hurdling through the air at 100 miles per hour merely a couple thousand feet up. My lesson time is from 8:30pm to midnight. I'll probably nap and get some coffee before my session. After tomorrow, I'll have over 22 hours. More than half way!!

Last update: FAA medical. I was denied my medical, briefly technically. They sent a letter that said I was denied because I failed to provide requested materials. I called the cardiologist office to confirm everything was sent. Yes, it was. Long story short, the cardiologist receptionist ended up calling the FAA medical line directly to show them what page the narrative was on (the summary that explains the lengthy 40 page clinical report) and the FAA has reopened my request. I will not be denied! so easily. this time. So now I wait (again) for the FAA to accept that I'm healthy and fit to fly.


moofie said...

Hey, any landing you can walk away from, right? : )



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