View from University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute

My 5 month flying hiatus may have been good for me because flying had started feeling like a chore last year. I was only flying because I’d already invested so much money in the initial hours to solo – but it wasn’t exciting. It’s different now. I’m now still doing pattern work, but I found I enjoyed today’s challenge.

About 7 knots of crosswind this evening and it was fairly constant the entire length of the runway. Rolling ailerons into the wind still feels strange but at least I can usually remember to do it. I do consistently use too much opposite rudder. Wobbling all over the runway until I realize what I did. Arah.

There was one instance where the crosswind was strong only at the last bit of the runway – I must remember to stay vigilant – the sideways push didn’t matter to my takeoff climb, but suddenly being way over the grass was just embarrassing.

Emergency landings if your engine cuts out: remember to pitch for best glide speed first, then turn towards the runway, then do the inverted L checklist.

My fav CFI4 let me land on the long (commercial side) runway today (20R) – first time being over there as a pilot! We were practicing staying on center line – flying 5 feet or so off the surface. The extra length is challenging but great for practicing on. One feels that you actually got some work in before needing to get back up in the air again. Sadly landing traffic inbound for 2L limited my practice to only one lap. I don’t know why landing on that side makes me so giddy 🙂

I think a huge part of today’s good flying mood is relief. I was super excited to be getting in the pilot’s seat again and realized too late that I  didn’t have to time to complete the final checkride before I leave for my summer fellowship in the lower 48 – basically I’d need to be done May 31 (CFI2 keeps telling me it is possible but I can’t commit to flying every day…nor are there enough planes or instructor hours to share – this is where things will get better when I do instrument in the 172 or arrow). I’ve been so stressed all last week about having restarted the reacclimation-to-flight and potentially ‘wasting‘ the money on this month’s flight hours. But hey, I realized can get re-soloed and finish my cross country hours now before the summer rush, I can do a few lessons with someone when I’m in Maryland to stay fresh, and I can do final checkride prep when I come back in September.

I may even treat myself to glider lessons over the blue ridge mountains this summer 🙂

Even though it snowed a bit yesterday, the trees still budded today.

I am committed to getting the written exam done before the end of this month. Especially since my ground school video lessons all expire before I return to Fairbanks in September. On a whim, I took a practice test yesterday and got a 75. My student brain freaks out at such a low score but part of me feels good that it was passing – and without any studying – especially considering that I finished the ground school work 6 months ago and haven’t looked at anything since….


2 thoughts on “Wheee!

  1. Best of luck in you time on the East Coast, and I will be looking for your postings when you return. Please make sure to let us know when you get your ticket!!!


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