It was fantastic to get out flying Monday evening after being on holidays in NL for two weeks and the weather not cooperating. The weather was great last night. I got in five flights total along with a bit of a different experience due to the change in wind conditions from what it has been while I’ve been at the field.
The landing strip runs, approximately, North to South. Every other time I’ve been their it’s been a mostly South wind so I’ve been taking off and landing North to South. This time out their was mostly a North wind (almost more West to East at times or completely died off). Due to this I got to take off going the other direction on the landing strip, which is somewhat uphill and you need to be careful at the end of the landing strip as it drops off which can suck your plane down if you’re not careful. One guy last evening dipped down into the ‘whole’ but was able to recover, thankfully!
The flying itself was quite similar to other nights with the major difference being in takeoffs and landings. For the first two flights I was on the buddy box and then flew solo for the last three with Peter standing by my side to give brief words of advice, encouragement, or an update on field conditions (i.e. wind, other aircraft’s, etc.). When landing coming in from the South you need to approach from the East (like when landing North to South) except bank right, level out, and then bank right again as you cut the throttle to come down the runway. This is to prevent you from swinging out over the crowd (if people are there) and to stay ahead of the ‘flying line’ of where you are supposed to be flying. From this direction you need to be careful of the trees while making sure you are out far enough to make your approach as how close you are to the trees can be deceptive.
It was a very exciting night of flying with only a few ‘scary’ moments. The first wasn’t to bad as it was in taxing. I didn’t apply any elevator so the nose wheel dug in and the plane tipped over. The second incident was pretty much the exact same but tipped sideways on a turn as I didn’t have enough elevator applied (need to remember to always apply full elevator when taxing). The third was the real heart pounding moment. On take off my plane wasn’t pointing straight down the runway. I didn’t look closely enough after Peter put down the plane, so instead of taxing into position I went for the takeoff. Little did I know I was heading right for the fencing where we stand behind (nobody was there at the time, as was standing behind and off to the side of the plane for takeoff) so as it came off the ground I was on a collision course with the fencing. Through some quick reflexes, and somewhat wobbly plane movements, I managed to bank away from the fence and level off to get some airspeed before rising up into the air. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, if you are not learning something when you are out you’re doing something wrong! 🙂
Sometimes after a day of work I feel so tired and wonder if I should go out to the airfield but every time so far, once I get their, I have an awesome time visiting with the guys and flying! Unfortunately I didn’t get out tonight due to not sleeping much last night, wasn’t feeling well along with being really tired, so rather than push it I relaxed tonight with hopes of getting out again soon!