Palestine to Athens

Palestine, TX FBO
This morning I started the day with a cross country flight. I intended to fly to College Station but enroute the CFI decided to divert us to other closer to home locations. We canceled flight following after playing hide-and-seek with a helicopter not far from Navarro Mills Resv. We went east to Palestine where the friendly FBO lady let us use her facilities and see the AWOS computer screen display.

Kyle Raper, CFII - standing on Piper LSA N921DD

We took off from Palestine headed a short distance to Athens, TX. By this time, the wind went from smooth to choppy. We bounced around at 2,500 ft. AGL towards Athens. That landing was fun and survivable!

Inbound for ADS, we stayed in turbulent air. I did most of the flight in my foggles. I almost wished we had gone to College Station but the wind was pushing on us so much we would have taken a boring long time.

Elliot admiring the view
Earlier this week I took Elliot up for a birthday flight. He had a good time but he said he was feeling "car sick" less than halfway through. We did a full stop at Caddo Mills where he got some candy before we headed back. This was a healthy challenge for me to take a 5 year old up. I had to teach him where to step for getting in, what not to touch or turn, and manage my flight with kid related interruptions. He kept wanting to put his feet on the joystick which would have pushed the airplane nose down. We talked about crashing and how we can prevent that by not putting his feet on the stick. In flight I had no feet problems from him.
Elliot during candy break

My Baby is Five!

Elliot is five today! Out of parental guilt that he gets less attention than his older brother, we upped the ante with birthday plans by going to GattiTown. He had such a good time with his buddies playing games! Afterwards, he had fun at another friend's house celebrating her birthday. I'm sure he'll sleep good tonight.  :-)

This is the last year for Elliot to be a pre-schooler. He's doing pre-K this year then it's a pay raise for us (yay!) and Kindergarten for Elliot (yay!) next August. But this also means I need appreciate just where he is right now. It's his last year (well, 9 months left) of ultimate freedom. He's all play right now and few responsibilities. As he wiggles into slightly baggy new pants labeled 5, I am reminded how much he'll grow by this time next year and what a great age he is at now. I love his quirks, his thoughts about the world and how simple pleasures make him content. I also adore his smile and moments of hugs and kisses.

On the pilot front, I went for a flight Friday to Sulpher Springs with one of my CFIs. For most the flight there and back I was "under the hood". I did pretty good keeping my altitude and heading, and making adjustments as needed. I was also good at a steady decent in preparation for landing. Landing at Sulpher Springs was good if a bit long, so we taxied back instead of doing a touch and go. Going to Addison was fun. I kept the foggles on until we were well on final. In fact, when the foggles finally came off, I was staring at a threshold and ILS lights guiding me towards the landing. My landing at ADS was smooth and awesome.  :-)

I'm going up again tomorrow to take Elliot up with me in a light sport. He's excited to ride up front. If conditions are right, I may let him shake the wings a bit at higher altitude.  I may do a couple lazy-8s, a stall, and some s-turns. All stuff that's good to practice and somewhat entertaining for a young co-pilot.

Destination: maybe Caddo Mills.

But really, it doesn't matter much where we go so long as Elliot has a good time.

Durant Cross Country

Last Friday I flew a short cross country flight from Addison to Durant, Oklahoma. Land lubbers know these cities are about 86 miles apart and would take about 90 minutes to drive there. For pilots, this is a mere 61 nautical miles taking about 40 minutes or less- in a Piper LightSport.

My Type
We had a stiff south wind that pushed us there in record time (ground speed 125+ knots) but made coming back home torturous (ground speed <85 knots).

I wore my "foggles" most of the way. There are a variety of vision limiting devices to help IFR pilots train.

Mine are comfortable and I'm convinced they didn't contribute to feeling nauseous like these type:
My CFI's Loaner
Of course, I didn't have to go fancy with my own frosted shades. I just choose to be somewhat stylish and comfortable, unlike these alternatives:
Duct Tape, mate?Literally a hood
Ground school is tomorrow evening when we discuss navigation and radio calls. I'm looking forward to it like any good aviation junky.

Speaking of, there was another accident this week at Northwest Regional. This time it was the fault of an SUV driver driving in front of a landing airplane that caused the accident. Luckily, nobody got seriously hurt, although the student pilot is calling it quits for flying.

What gets my goat is the SUV drivers are frequent visitors to the airport, so they should know better! The husband and wife in the vehicle claim they didn't see anything, but video also shows they didn't stop to LOOK UP before crossing right by the end of the runway.

Situation awareness people!

And read a bit down how nasty the wife is right afterwards.
</ my soap box>

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