Back in the air again

On a whim earlier this week, I ended up at the flight school and went home with up with a flight block with CFI7. I was incredibly nervous because I hadn’t flown since last June – almost 11 months ago! It has been impossible finding the money to completely finish my private pilot license – and as I’ve said before, it makes no sense to start and stop and start and stop – one should have the money to go all the way through before starting (and that’s why I’ve done nothing with flying lately….). Monetarily, I’m currently nowhere near close to being able to finish my PPL, but I missed flying, so I ignored my own advice for this one-off lesson.

As of last June, the last things I needed to do before my checkride were one last long cross country flight and the demonstration to a flight instructor that I could fly the plane to the private pilot test standards (who knows how long that would take eh? πŸ˜‰ ). We started today’s lesson with a nice verbal review of the important numbers: RPM and speeds needed for normal flight/slow flight/at different points in the pattern.

Was this the plane we saw the handcuffed person being escorted to? Could be...strange day at the airport.
Was this the plane we saw the handcuffed person being escorted to? Could be…strange day at the airport.

Today’s tasks: Went out to the practice area, did level turns, climbing turns, slow flight. Then turns, climbs, and descents in slow flight. Back to airport for touch-and-goes (with a level descent along the way). At the beginning of the lesson, CFI7 had asked me if I had any preferences for what to do – my mind was a blank. I had realized that the whole flight training thing encompasses so much and I felt I needed help in absolutely everything. But I should remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same holds here. When I finally go to finish the private pilot license, today’s tasks are a fabulous ‘first’ itinerary to do again.

Lovely Fairbanks flying weather
Lovely Fairbanks flying weather

I surprised myself with how much I remembered – radio calls, slow flight, and more. I would have loved to have had more time to actually practice maintaining the altitude I wanted (my performance was still kinda okay) and touch-and-goes (my timing for flaring is way off). It felt like most of my flight today was spent in slow flight. Truthfully, I’d never felt super comfortable with slow flight before today – I could do it, sure, but in the past, it felt that the instructors would ask me to go into slow flight, watch me accomplish it, and then quickly transition to something more “exciting” to them like stalls. I’m thinking I should have asked for an entire hour of slow flight earlier to have acquired this level of comfort sooner (I feel the other instructors think an hour of slow flight would have been a ‘waste of my money’ because it should be something I could acclimate to when setting up for and practicing stalls – they’re right of course, but I needed more practice with just slow flight stuff).


3 thoughts on “Back in the air again

  1. Oh my gosh I’m so happy to see there’s still some flight time happening! It was quiet and I was getting curious πŸ™‚

    I’ve since moved to Washington, accepted a job at Alaska Airlines and had to put my training on hold again so I feel the delays and understand the “don’t start until you can finish” thoughts.

    I’m excited to use some employee perks and go visiting all the airports I can see in Alaska. I’ll be thinking of your stories while on approach to FAI one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, Alaskan Airlines! That’s exciting! I have to throw out my opinion that it is my absolutely favorite airline in the whole wide world – have only met 2 employees in all my dealings with the company who weren’t friendly and didn’t go above and beyond for customer service (true anomalies those two) – I couldn’t believe such companies still existed!

      I’m not sure how codeshare works with the flights to the smaller Alaskan communities (basically anything except Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau), but I highly recommend putting Barrow on the list – highest latitude city in the US (and N. America maybe?) – definitely above the arctic circle which is just so cool. Fly in around summer solstice and watch the sun not set! πŸ™‚

      Right now is a beautiful time to visit Juneau (speaking from experience) – you’ll just catch the beginning of tourist season (summer tourist season is sadly the only time you get to pay for guides to do the coolest stuff…like a helicopter ride up to a glacier)

      If you’re ever in Fairbanks, drop a comment to any post on this blog! I’m confident I could finish up the private pilot certificate this fall and want to take passengers up πŸ˜€

      Hope to read about your own flying adventures soon!


      1. YAY! I’m always happy to hear positive reviews. I chose them for that reason, as well. I just completed initial service training and WOW! I can only add from the insider perspective that their employees are kept happy by the company so it shows… it’s amazing.

        Barrow would be fun. I’ll be sure to add it to the list. I would love to visit all the various places in the state. So much cool stuff is there. I think something neat exists about being in a place where the sun circles the sky.

        Juneau is amazing! Once out of the touristy parts, I really enjoyed visiting – have you been to Sandpiper Cafe!? πŸ™‚ NOM! I never did the helicopter tours or anything, but I keep hearing good things and I think now it’s time. I’ll certainly say hello when I’m up near Fairbanks! It may not be until autumn, but I’ll definitely be there! Thank you! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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