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Flight 16 at SpanaFlight (Total: 19.6 Dual, 1.3 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 54 Landings)


Awoke this morning after listening to it raining all night thinking that there wasn't a chance to go flying.  The winds had been blowing heavily, and the skies were gray.  At my scheduled flight time, however, things started looking better.  I had to do a last minute reschedule for this flight, and had to schedule 20481 instead of my normal plane.  

I arrived at the airport wondering if the weather break was going to hold, and looked over and saw 4705G.  The customer who had the plane reserved all day ended up a no-show, so I was able to use my normal plane instead.  I was relieved, as I knew that the winds were up some today, and I would be working on crosswind takeoffs and landings.

I pre-flighted 05G immediately this time, before the time I was scheduled, so as to get it out of the way.  Matt was already here, and we went into the back to finish the review of my pre-solo exam.  That took about 30 minutes, and I got a 97.5 on the test.  We reviewed it, and corrected the mistakes I made.  

We then started out to the plane.  We were planning on going to the Ellensburg (WA20) airport today, and I was pretty excited about landing on a different one.  Ellensburg has the same runway orientation, but at about half the width, and has a right hand pattern on runway 16.  I knew the winds were from the southwest, and that made me a little nervous about doing the right hand pattern.

We took off and headed to the south.  The air was very turbulent, and I had to really control the plane.  The wind was buffeting us all over the place.  The winds on the surface were fairly calm, but as soon as we climbed about 100 feet or so, it became very bumpy.  We headed to the south.  Ellensburg is just to the Southeast of the airport, but we decided to fly directly south until we crossed the 130 degree McChord AFB VOR bearing, and follow that in to the airport.  Using the VOR was pretty simple, although Matt did most of the work of setting it, it still seemed pretty straight forward.

We crossed the 130 degree mark, and turned to match heading.  that took us almost directly to the airport, and I saw it after only a couple of minutes.  We flew over the airport at 1000 feet above the pattern to have a look at the wind direction indicator on the ground.  Matt spotted it, but I never did.  We then circled around some and entered on the 45 downwind.  I got pretty disoriented, as I have never been either to another airport or had to fly a right hand pattern before.  And there was the turbulent air and the crosswind to worry about, so I went ahead and asked Matt to land us, and I would just try to watch him with the controls.

Matt landed us as smoothly as ever.  He makes it look so easy to just slip right in and touch the plane lightly to the runway.  There was no taxiway on this airstrip, with houses lined up on both sides of the runway.  A couple of the houses had planes in front of them.  We turned the plane around on the runway, and back-taxied to the beginning of the runway.  Matt took off, and then handed the controls back to me.  I appreciated Matt taking the controls and landing the plane for me, as I think Matt would have had most of them anyway.  I'll try this one again though on another flight.

We headed right back to Pierce Airport and did one touch and go, and one full stop landing on runway 16.  I had the controls on these fully, except for a little help from Matt earlier in the pattern.  We had a crosswind on these, and I did OK with the landings.  I still landed hard, but didn't bounce this time.  I am getting a little better at these.   

We parked the plane, debriefed, and planned for next flight.  Looks like it will be takeoff and landing practice until I get these down.  That's ok, as I definitely need the practice at these.   My physical is now scheduled and will be done next Tuesday.  Hopefully everything there goes well.

Until next time....

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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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