Learning to fly

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January 4, 2004, 10 AM
A pretty warm day for January with no clouds. We took off from 4 for a re-familiarization flight really. It has been awhile since I've had a lesson due to illness and weather, although I was able to fly last week VFR for my BFR. But the layoff showed since I was pretty rusty on the radio, again. I fly perfectly fine, but my head is in the plane and not as in tune with what will be coming from ATC.

We flew the ILS at RYY and even with a pretty good crosswind, I did passably well. Then over to Cartersville for the localizer approach. Not quite as well as RYY since I needed a small bit of coaching to remember to start letting down as we turned inbound on the procedure turn.

After nailing the missed, we headed back to 47A for the GPS approach and a couple of practice holds at EDVIH. Adequate for impromptu holds without a published version, but they could of been better of course. Then we went on to finish the approach where we flew the circle to land instead of going missed. A decent landing, but a bit off centerline.

January 11, 2004, 10 AM
A pretty chilly day and we had to pull the plane inside to warm it up and get the frost off the wings. We took off from 4 expecting to get our clearance in the air to Charlie Brown. I had my mouth and brain engaged today and everything seemed to fall into place much better. I was anticipating the controller and except for a few minor glitches, my readbacks were fine.

My flying was pretty good even with a crosswind on the approaches. We were vectored around for the ILS and as we came in the localizer centered but the flag was out for the glideslope. We called ATC to let them know and he came back a moment later with the info that it had just failed. So we went missed and vectored around for the VOR in the opposite direction. I was high and had to scramble to get down once we crossed the outer marker, but at least I was nailing the localizer and it would have been a piece of cake approach in actual.

Then we went missed to the GPS approach back to 47A, but from the CIXFU intersection instead of EDVIH. My biggest mistake of the flight came when I forgot to recite my 5T's completely. I was doing everything ok and making a decent approach, but I was pretty annoyed at myself for leaving out the T's which are pretty basic. At least the landing was smooth to end what was probably my best lesson so far.

June 25, 2004 8 AM
Instrument oral

I've neglected to write up the lessons after 1/11/04 since it seemed that the write-ups were getting very repetitive and boring. I've come to the end of my lessons and had the checkride scheduled for today, but the weather wouldn't cooperate. So Don and Randall suggested I drive up to Andrews-Murphy to take the oral portion of the exam and get it out of the way.

Initially I was reluctant since I have a number of cartoons to do and it would require taking the Honda instead of the truck. But Candance didn't seem to mind not having the car for the day, so I decided to go. I got up at 6 AM and left with plenty of time to get there by 9-9:30 like he asked. I drove into the airport parking lot at about 8:45 with Don pulling in behind me.

We walked up to his office and talked a bit about what I had been doing in the last few years since he's seen me. Trying to get me comfortable I guess. He wanted to see my flight plan to Memphis, but Andy had forgotten to tell me he would want to see one. So he pulled out the Low Altitude chart and we went through a quick oral flightplan to Savannah using the Arrow's numbers. Then he asked for the weight and balance problems, and again, I had nothing since I wasn't told to have it. Not a very good start and I was a bit uncomfortable again.

Then he started in with the questions from the ASA oral exam prep book right from page one. I stumbled a couple of times when I had to recite a long list of stuff, but he'd ask me a follow up question to steer me in the right direction and prompt me. I was more surprised by the number of questions that he didn't ask than any of the ones he did. When he only asked about the category A holding safe distance and ignored the other categories I had memorized, I asked if he wanted to hear the rest. He laughed and said he could tell I had studied and knew them, so I didn't volunteer anything else. I figured that was the safest course: KISS.

Eventually he pulled the Low Altitude chart around and we went through that very throughly. The same with approach plates and alternate takeoff and landing stuff. That led into looking at the plate for KRHP and the approaches we'd be doing at Knoxville for the checkride. Sort of an anticlimactic end to the exam really.

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