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Flight 26 at SpanaFlight (Total: 28.3 Dual, 1.3 Sim IFR, .2 Night, 1.0 Complex, 106 Landings)


Matt called me in early today and asked me if I wanted to go flying with him in a different plane.  He gets an hour a month of free flight in any of the schools planes as a benefit to his job, and he decided to use his hour showing me the Piper Arrow (Complex) plane the school has.  I jumped at the chance and drove immediately to the airport.  

Matt was there when I arrived and we went out and pre-flighted the Arrow.  Matt took left-seat and spent time introducing me to the controls and instruments that were different in this plane from the Cessna 172 I normally fly.  This Piper was similar to the first one I flew back in July, but there were a lot more instruments and of course, the variable pitch propeller and retractable landing gear.  Matt spent the time showing me each one and describing their use.  

Matt started the plane and taxied to Runway 16 and did a short-field takeoff.  We headed towards Mount Rainier and climbed to about 500 feet below the floor of the Seattle Class B airspace.  We stayed there until we left the 30nm boundary, and climbed above the clouds.  It was pretty nice up there, and really different, since I never get to go above the clouds as a student.  Matt flew around some around the clouds and decided to head over to Vashon Island and look around.  

We descended fairly rapidly to 2500 feet and turned the plane towards Tacoma.  I remember my first time flying through Tacoma and this time we stayed between the Puyallup River and some railroad tracks that ran parallel to the river.  Matt said that the McChord Air Force base Airspace was just past those railroad tracks, and that the SeaTac Class B was to the right of the river.  We flew in a little corridor until we reached the Puget Sound and then turned north towards Vashon.  I showed Matt the grass-strip airport there and we flew a bit towards Bremerton.  Matt decided though to turn us around and head back to the airport so that we could do some touch and goes before his hour ran out.

On our second landing, we did a full-stop and started taxiing back to the Runway, and watched a biplane enter on final.  He descended and landed not on the runway, but on the grass median between the runway and the taxiway.  That surprised us quite a bit, but not as much as what happened next.  The pilot then turned the plane towards us and proceeded to run into and disintegrate a taxiway sign that was there.  Matt and I were dumbfounded and stopped our plane and got out to see if the pilot was ok.  The pilot shut off his plane and got out and looked at the damage.  We ran over, and assisted him in moving his plane off the sign, and he tried to fix it so that the sign was still readable.  He stated that he landed on the grass on purpose but did not see the sign when he hit it.  He thought he lost a wheel strut when he stopped and got out.  His plane had some propeller damage and the right wheel strut was damaged from the sign collision.  He got back into his plane, and we got in ours, and we watched him carefully maneuver the plane back to the parking area.  

Matt and I proceeded to do one more takeoff and landing and head back to the parking area.  Matt stated that with the winds up, he didn't advise flying today in the 172, so we rescheduled my next flight for tomorrow morning.  The storm that was coming was supposed to clear up by then.  Matt decided that we did enough in the plane during this flight that I could log the dual time as instruction and that It would count as complex aircraft time as well.  I though that was awesome, and we went back to debrief.  Matt and I are scheduled to try again on Sunday for another lesson.  The next one after that will be this Friday.  

I'll keep you posted...

On to Journal Page 32
















Last Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2000


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