After not flying for a painfully slow 36 days, I finally got the opportunity to get some more flight time in. Because we had an early release at school, I got the opportunity to fly in the afternoon. I arrived at Westosha about 2:00 and walked into the brand new flight office. Although it is not completely finished (needs outlet covers, furniture, etc…), it is extremely nice (and warm!).
After a few moments of admiration, I grabbed the aircraft book and key to preflight the plane. With preflight done, we headed over to runway three to practice a few more crosswind landings. The wind was blowing lightly but directly parallel to the runway. The trickiest part about the takeoff was deciding which runway to takeoff from. In the air, we practiced landings on both ends of the runway, using a different amount of flaps each time. Although most of the landings were lined up fairly well, I was coming in a little bit too fast.
After four landings with Dana, he exited the plane and went back to the flight office. Just before he left, he told me to explore a little bit and try to work on my landing speed. Over the course of about 15 minutes, I shot 4 landings, each of them showing improvement. I tried extra hard not to descend too shallow and land too fast. By my third landing, I felt pretty comfortable with my alignment and speed. Preceding the fourth solo takeoff, I climbed to 3,000 and took a short flight around the area. I flew over the chain of lakes and the Wilmot Ski Mountain (there weren’t that many people skiing today).
After entering the traffic pattern the correct way (as I described in my last post), I made my fourth and final landing. In my opinion it was a descent landing. I ended up making the turn onto the final leg too wide and loosing good alignment. Nonetheless, I landed the airplane in one piece. After shutting down the plane and tying it up, I headed back into the new flight office to talk with Dana. He said he was very happy with my landings and my piloting skills (although my landings aren’t horrible, I know they could definitely use some work). After signing my logbook, he showed me my shirt tail and what he drew on it. Dana did such a nice job on the shirt as you can clearly see. We also tentatively set up a ground school lesson for Monday. Dana plans on spending an hour or two on airspace and cross-country flight planning. It should be fun! Thanks for reading everyone!!!