September 24, 2011

bill flies an airplane

For those that don't know. My husband is in flight school to get his pilots license. He's been working on this for several months now. He typically gets up early in the morning to meet his instructor and fly. On Thursday he flew by himself for the first time. He sent this email to me and his family after the flight...

"Quick update on my training.

I wasn't able to fly for 3 weeks because of the usual issues. But yesterday I went back up for 2hrs with my instructor and did 8 or so full stops at 52F. The winds were crossing the runway so my CFI stayed in the plane and it was a great experience. A few planes working in the pattern and it was fun to watch everyone navigate with the wind. With my confidence back up I was given permission to fly solo this morning from ADS to 52F.

I arrived early at the baby bird this morning and waited until 7:00 to taxi out. The winds were 10@330 so I took of on runway 33 behind all the big planes. Its a different perspective going that way but it made my trip to 52 F a little bit shorter. As I climbed above 1200msl the winds really picked up and I could tell I was going to have to crab into the wind to go out above Lake Lewisville. My indicated airspeed was 120mph but I was probably only doing 100mph because of the headwind.

I have never landed on runway 35 at 52F so I did some more thinking about that on the way over. As I entered the pattern I couldn’t help but think about the trees at the end of 35 but they were easily cleared with only 20 degrees of flaps. My airspeed was right at 65mph on final so I didn't see the need let out more flaps. The ground effect was pretty strong and the little bird floated down 1/2 the runway before landing. I had to fight the urge to drop the nose and bounce it so just listened to the whine of the stall horn as I coasted down the runway.

As I taxied I could see the weather rolling in, so I made the decision to not shoot any more landings at 52F. I was concerned about the winds continuing to pick up and possibly shifting across the runway. As I left 52F it turned out to be a good decision because the winds were definitely picking up. As I flew over the lake I could see some white caps that weren't there before. As I came back over the lake I got handed back to ADS tower and they asked me to make a left downwind for 33. My only experience landing on 33 has been to make a right traffic pattern over the tollway and those large buildings. I definitely like the left pattern better. It was easy to pick up the runway on final and I felt like the runway had a tracker beam drawing me to the numbers. I did a no flaps landing and was asked to expedite my runway exit for some waiting traffic behind me. No doubt they were going faster than me so I scooted out of the way.

I always laugh when the 150 comes peddling in as some biz jet is sitting idling at the hold short line. I always wonder if those pilots would trade places to go pleasure flying in a 50 yr old C150 instead of jockeying around grumpy customers. Being able to fly out of ADS is a privilege I hope isn't taken away from us."

He is really enjoying this new challenge and I am just praying for his safety. :)

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