Today, as I posted about earlier, I found out on the FAA’s database, my 3rd class medical is in the mail. With any luck it will be here Thursday or Friday. I had a flight lesson scheduled for today and when I arrived, Meg, my instructor, had a present for me. My presolo written exam. Fortunately it’s a take home test, and there is no time limit. So I’ll be hitting the books over the next week or so making sure I get this done. Can’t solo until it’s done and I’ve passed it. That “S” word is coming up more and more lately. I’ve really got to work on my landings before I’m going to feel comfortable soloing. I don’t know if ANYONE feels comfortable soloing?? But it’s an incredibly special thing and I’m super excited that Meg is even HINTING at it!! I mean what percentage of the worlds population can say they’ve flown a plane? Even more, what percentage can say they’ve flown a plane by themselves?!
Today we took off out of KPLU and headed over towards KTIW. I will say that this was my best takeoff EVER at KPLU. Nailed the centerline. No wobble after liftoff. Straight down the extended centerline. Good rate of climb, and I kept the ball in the center!! Meg didn’t say “Right Rudder” once on that takeoff!
I got to talk to the tower again, and overall on the radio I did really well (I think). I forgot to give my altitude once or twice. I forgot to say the runway number a couple times, but overall I think my communication skills are improving. I don’t often play the “Student Pilot” card on the radio and I’m pretty comfortable.
Once we passed over KTIW we started doing some maneuvers and Meg put me under the hood for another 12 minutes, or 0.2 hours. We did turns around a point, climbing turns at a constant rate, constant rate climbs and descents, and Meg even had me just fly with my arms crossed on my chest only controlling the plane with my feet on the rudder pedals. After doing maneuvers for awhile, we headed back to KTIW for some landing practice.
My first landing at KTIW was long, but overall pretty good. We came in just a bit too fast and that had us landing about 1/2 way down the runway instead of in the first 1/3. We taxied back and told the tower we were ready to take off again. Off we went, once again, held the centerline pretty well, airborne, a couple wobbles from the cross wind, but overall pretty good. Downwind over the Narrows Bridges. This time we bounced a little on landing. OOPS! Meg said I relaxed too much once we touched down, plus didn’t have my right foot on the rudder pedal, or if I did, didn’t use it the way I was supposed to. In hindsight, we probably should have gone around on that one.
it was getting late so we headed back to Thun. My landing at Thun was pretty decent, but again, I relaxed. So I need to work on my focus a bit.
I’m excited for Thursday, Cross Country #3. Headed to Jefferson County airport on the peninsula. This will be my longest cross country yet, and if all goes well, I’ll get to do the SeaTac crossing on my way back! It’ll be very cool to fly directly over SeaTac!