My 1979 Cessna 172N

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How low can you go... SOLO!

October might have been a depressing month with summer definitely behind us and hints of cold weather and post Kauai (we just got back from two weeks on our favorite island) withdrawals making me gloomy, but it ended up being a life changing month for me.  From this time forward, I will always remember Oct 12th, a day that I have thought about and even dreamed about since my childhood. My flying experienced today changed my life.  CFI Bob got tired of sitting next to me (hmmm… did I forget to shower?) and during a training flight he told me to land and pull off on the taxiway. He then got out and said be off with you! OK, it wasn’t quite that dramatic but he did get out and I did suffer some separation anxiety as Bob pushed me forward and determined it was time to fly alone... to solo.

 It is impossible to explain to the non-flying person what it is like to cut those apron strings and take the airplane up by yourself. I can’t actually believe I did it but I did and it was fantastic. I feel a great sense of accomplishment recognizing however that this is just the beginning and that there is yet much to learn. It is important that I not become over confident but I think I should feel good about this momentous event. Bob has been a fantastic teacher and I owe him a lot for getting me to this point.

 My first solo flight, which consisted of three landings (two touch and goes and one full stop) was done at Spanish Fork, Utah airport and the second solo flight at Provo airport. This was necessary so that I could include in my solo endorsement in my logbook, the specific permissions to operate into and out of both airports. The second flight was done on Oct 13th by the way. Both days were beautiful and perfect for flying.

 I have posted links to some flight video so please take a look at maybe you can get an idea of how much fun I am having. I have wanted to do this for so long… it is absolutely fantastic! Thanks Dad for instilling in me this crazy bug for flying and for being there to watch the Provo portion of my solo. I feel I was made to do this and you have been a huge influence in my life and this adventure.

 The training continues and cross country flight is next. I really look forward to stretching my flying legs a bit and visiting some more airports out there. N9478E is performing beautifully and has not let me down.

More Oct 11th pre solo video

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Progress; both flying and my hangar pass!

I haven't posted for over three weeks now.  My beautiful wife took me to Kauai for my birthday the last two weeks in September and it was stormy here most of last week so... no flying for a few weeks.  All is not lost however... I finally got word from Provo city that my hangar access pass is ready and last week I paid them a visit.  I now have gate access to the hangar area.  This makes life much more enjoyable and simplifies the task of getting me and my flight bag/junk to my hangar. 

I have installed several HD video cameras in my plane so that I can see what is causing that hysterical laughter on the tower frequency when I land.  I guess they are seeing my attempts to fly and land from a very entertaining view point that I was just not seeing.  My first attempt at taking video was somewhat of a disaster but it seems to have paid dividends.  If you visit my youtube channel you'll see that I had the camera orientation all wrong and got no audio.  This goofy but valuable video from Sept 15th helped me see however what I was doing wrong on my landings and has improved my landing performance.  I'm sure the guys in the Provo tower will be depressed that their prime source of entertainment has been (for now anyway) take away. 

Huge kudos to CFI Bob for both sticking with me and for coaching me to better my performance in all aspects of flight so far and specifically the progress made with my landings.  Made 7 good landings today.

Link to today's flight video  Oct 11 Landing Practice