Solo Outside the Pattern

8:18 AM Friday, September 17, 2010

After my solo on Monday I was so excited to go again that I scheduled my next session for Tuesday (even though I had work I should be doing). When I arrived Tim told me that we would go up together and practice some performance maneuvers (stalls, slow flight and steep turns) then I would bring him back and I would go do them by myself. WooHoo!!! Not only was I excited to be leaving the pattern, I would get to leave the pattern by myself! So we went up and discussed the maneuvers as well as distances from the airport I needed to be (basically stay between the town of Eldridge and the wapsi river) how high I needed to stay and the radio calls I needed to be diligent about making.

A few stalls and steep turns later we were on our way back to the airport. I was uncomfortable on my first landing so I went around. Second one was really pretty good though. I dropped Tim off at alpha-bravo and taxied back out to 15. Flipped my transponder and fuel pump back on and radioed for take-off.

On the climb I was grinning like a fool again. I absolutely love this flying thing. I turned cross wind and radioed that I was departing the pattern to the north. Flying out to the practice area seemed very calming. I had the river in sight so I was almost there. I made my radio call (Davenport Traffic, Cherokee 545 Charlie Alpha maneuvering 8 miles to the north at 2500 feet, davenport). I did a clearing turn and did a power-off stall. During the stall something didn't seem quite right, when I recovered I realized I didn't do a prelanding checklist. Ok, prelanding check done, now for a power on stall. And again, and again and again. Next up steep turns, my favorite. My steep turn to the left was pretty good, I held altitude and rolled out within standards. My turn to the right however was not so good. I lost about 200 feet of altitude so I need to work on that next time.

Time to head back to the airport. I turn south toward the airport, I have it in sight. As I am headed there I radio that I am about 6 miles out, I decide to cross mid field for left downwind, although at the time I wasn't sure if that was the correct choice (I later confirmed with Tim that it was). I cross over the airport and set-up for landing on 15. As I am turning base I am wondering if I can do more than one landing. Then I think, why the hell not, I am paying for it. So I get my approach stabilized and make a pretty decent landing. Flaps up and full throttle, climbing for a second round at the pattern. This landing is also pretty good and I quit for the day feeling pretty good about my second solo flight.

Total hours logged: 27.4

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