Pattern

Pattern work with CFI2 tonight. Got to fly the school’s newest 152 🙂 – an older plane but still pretty nice.

Flying without the fancy procedures checklists in the other planes (runup, prelanding, etc) was strange [this plane just arrived in Fairbanks from Seattle and the school hasn’t had time to print their fancy checklists yet], but I surprised myself at how much I remembered without prompting. Its tiedown spot was farther from the fuel station than I’m used to and CFI2 decided it would take too long for me to go get the ladder to dip the tanks. For once, I was actually able to swing up onto those stepping spots – surprising even though I still feel too short at 5’1″ and I woke up this morning feeling too sore to move (15 mile hike this weekend with ~2900′ elevation gain, ow – but I know this is going to be a beautiful place to fly around one day).

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Our campsite next to a tor on the Granite Tors trail. More tors in the distance. Alaska range visible in the very far distance (white snow covered, a bit hidden in the haze).

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Standing on the highest tor I climbed, more tors in the distance. These massive granite structures just rise out of nowhere on this grassy tundra.

Two radios onboard; couldn’t figure out how to set the squelch knobs so I could hear myself talking. I could hear everyone else and they could hear me…so technically, there was no problem – I mean, I certainly know what I’m saying…because I’m the one speaking…., but not being able to hear myself was  definitely an unexpected stressor (similar level of freakiness to being in an anechoic chamber I guess). It seems so stupid to have let something so trivial bother me. CFI2 noted that I visibly relaxed so much when we finally switched over to the other fully working radio.

On final, we worked on having me look at the far aiming points instead of directly in front of the touchdown points. When I remembered to do it, those last few feet before landing were lined up pretty nice down to the flare. Then I’d flare too late if I wasn’t prompted. Ahhhhhh…okay, something to work on. That and not making my pattern turns so late.

No landing was unsafe but all were clumsy looking. And I kept forgetting to read back the runway number I was cleared for; having the n-number placard in front of me was a true help since it was a strange new number.

My homework for next time: plan a cross country flight to Manley, AK. Oh boy. It feels a bit like being thrown in to deep end of a pool to learn to swim (I’m so unconfident, I know).

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UAF campus just after tonight’s flight (white sculpture near Wickersham Hall, 10:30pm LT in early May). Not sunny but bright enough that the street lights are still off. I like evening summer flying. Ridiculously hazy again today – forest fire smoke, arrg, noooooo…..
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