Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quick Update

I'd meant to go into more detail about all this, and still plan to (either here and/or on the ANN series) but as time is fleeting, here are the basics: 

1) Training is going VERY well... as you may be able to tell below:

2) I scored a 90 percent on the FAA written last Friday (passing is 70.) I'm ticked I didn't do better, but know which questions I missed and they were ones I had questions about on the test.

3) I flew with Jim to Punta Gorda last weekend to rack up dual cross-country time. All flight planning and navigating by pilotage went to plan. Hard to believe I had only a basic grasp of these concepts two weeks ago.

4) Flying Saturday from Punta Gorda with Jim, I experienced something inflight I never have before: I actually got a little sick, not nauseous but a cold sweat and headache. We turned around over Port Charlotte Bay and landed back at PGD. Must have been something I ate/drank, as later I felt fine and it hasn't recurred. I've NEVER gotten sick flying, not even during aerobatics.

5) Flying back Sunday, low cloud cover forced us to land in Ocala (OCF,) stay the night, and continue on Monday. My laptop computer also chose to die a whirring death Sunday night.

6) I soloed from Palatka Tuesday, no fooling. 0.6 hours in the practice area and three touch-and-goes. I accumulated another 0.5 hours later that evening, flying out of Haller. The Gobosh and I have reached a happy truce regarding its touchy throttle, and its STRONG left-turning tendencies on takeoff. I even felt emboldened to perform my first-ever solo stall.

7) The next day, Wednesday, I completed my cross-country solo. Haller (7FL4) to Palatka (28J) to Flagler County (XFL) and back to Haller. Time en route: 2.2 hours, of which 1.6 was inflight. I have the signatures from each airport and photos to prove it. I had a blast, the plane performed wonderfully and the weather was perfect... as it had been for most of my time in Florida, Sunday excepted.

8) Thursday, the bill came due on the nice weather. I was grounded for the entire day by low cloud cover and rain, which turned into full-blown thunderstorms by evening. Jim and I spent the time cleaning the plane, which accumulated quite a lot of grime and bug-gunk on it in the past 10 days.

9) So, here's where we stand: I need to complete another 2.3 hours solo time in N702GB, to fulfill the five-hours-solo requirement ahead of the checkride. Jim and I also have to fly another .7 hours dual in preparation for the checkride, which we'll accomplish handily flying down to where the examiner is based, Zephyrhills (ZPH.)

10) I'm ready, I think. I plan to spend the solo time practicing maneuvers I feel I'm weaker on, including steep turns. Whenever I fly them with Jim I perform them to checkride standards, but I still feel shaky. That may take half an hour or so, all-told, so I plan to fly back out to the coast to grab the pictures I didn't take during my cross-country flight, in order to eat up more time on the Hobbs. I'm really looking forward to it, just waiting for the weather to cooperate... which it might not until the weekend.

As I often end articles I write on ANN, stay tuned. Things get REALLY interesting now.
(Thanks to Hernan Enriquez, for use of his photo of me taxiing into Palatka on Wednesday.)

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