Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Hop, Skip, Jump, and Back Home

When flying from my home airport I really like the northern winds because I prefer to land on the runway 03 because there is much less turbulence due to the lack of trees at the end of the runway. On this Thursday, I wanted that northern wind and got it.

The plan was to take off and fly over to Wadsworth Muni, and then over to Wayne County, and then over to Medina County, and then back home.

As a student pilot I did not want to form the bad habits that I read about in the various aviation magazines. So with the northern wind today I would be landing on different runways therefore the patterns would be different which is what I've been waiting for for a long time.

So when departing from Skypark, the departure will be from the downwind leg and overflying Skypark direct to Wadsworth Muni and enter on a 45 for runway 02. And since this was all planned out ahead of time it went like clockwork. The first landing was good and it to a full stop. I then took off, and planned for a touch and go which went well. The third landing I planned for a full stop with no flaps. I almost backed out because I did not clear this with my flight instructor, but this is where he worked with me since the Wadsworth runway is long enough to accommodate this practice. The approach was flatter than the usual 20° flat landing, but went without a hitch. With this practice completed my taxi back for takeoff to fly to Wayne County.

The departure was routine and dislocating Wayne County was not too difficult. The question was whether I was to enter on a 45 or enter on the downwind to runway 10. I opted for the latter and found myself with another aircraft already on down wind and followed her. (not because I was being a gentleman, but because she was there first). Since the layout of Wayne County results in a back-taxi I preferred touch and goes and glad that I did. All was right with the world and the spacing was nice. I was able to space by cutting corners and/or extending legs as needed. With my 3 touch and goes completed I was ready for my leg to Medina County.

This was my longest leg and after I spotted Wadsworth Muni (Skypark is hard to find at times) I was able to find Medina quickly. There was a Mooney already in the pattern for runway 36 so why mess with they flow of traffic. The wind was a little stronger and about 40 degrees off my nose but still within my allowances. The first landing was a full stop which was not worth saving for the archives. Maintaining centerline was not easy since I was not thinking right. I taxied back for a second try and was reminded why I didn’t like this airport runway. You are taxiing uphill to the approach end and have to back-taxi a few hundred feet. I was going to cheat and take off from the entry point of the taxiway, but know better. I did the pivot after the 15 second back-taxi and off I went. The takeoff was sloppy but after regaining my composure I hit everything pretty much on target. I planned on a touch and go and all went well. The departure was good and did another one. This plan was for a spot landing since I realized that I had not done one at all on this day’s practice. This went fair and resulted in power on the short final. Next time, I will hold off on the second 10 degrees of flaps until needed. Touch down was nice and soft (love that chirp of a classic landing). Flaps to 10 degrees, carb heat off, full power and off I went for my final take off, and flight home to Skypark.

Skypark eluded me for a moment as I left on the downwind leg from Medina, because Wadsworth Muni catches my attention before my home airport did. There was a simple downwind entry to runway 03, and the downwind leg was sloppy since I was 100 feet below pattern altitude. But still, when abeam the numbers I pulled the power for my approach. I turned base and waited until I was halfway on my base until I drop my first 10° of flaps. I was still high but waited until I was on final to add 10° more. Halfway on final I was still high so I added the final flaps and corrected for the crosswind and made a halfway decent landing.

All in all it was a good day behind the joystick. I clicked off the Flight Simulator and looked outside the window again and saw that the snow was still coming down quite heavily. After grumbling for a few minutes I put on my boots, two sweaters, grabbed my scarf and gloves, and went out to the garage and started up the snow blower.

(It was a crappy day out. Did you really expect me to fly in this weather)


TransplantBuddies Around the World said...

Hello David

I found your blog on google and found your story fascinating.

I received a double lung transplant in 96 and in 05.

Check out and meet many wonderful transplantbuddies.

Best to you always,

Steve said...

Haha, great recap - you had me fooled until the end! I was hoping to get up today but some unplanned work on the house kept me home. Maybe next weekend... and hope you get some good flying weather again soon, too.

sallyrae said...

Ha, Ha. You had me going, too. I read about you in Flight Training I received in the mail today. Great story, inspirational. Nothing remarkable about me. I finally got my license at 51 after a 20 year break in flying. I think I appreciate it more than I did earlier and I know I have to be a better pilot. Keep up the good work.
Check six.

SunDown said...

I read about your story in Flight Training mag today. Very inspiring :)

GreenPilot said...


Saw your article in AOPA's Feb. issue. Wow! You have inspired me, and I'm sure many others, with your heroic pursuit of a dream.

I look forward to following your blog and seeing where your determination takes you.

safe skies,