1:51 PM Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Location: KDVN Local
Weather:KDVN 302052Z AUTO 28005KT 10SM CLR 09/M13 A3003 RMK AO2 SLP175 T00891133 56019
Runway in use: 15

Goals for this flight:

  • Work on Stalls - Check, went well

  • Do a couple of steep turns - Check, sloppy

  • Touch and Goes with concentration on soft field technique - will do next time, today was no good.

  • Work on Rudder Usage - check, still needs work

  • Taxi and Rollout inputs - still needs work

Today's flight did not go so well. It was much bumpier than I would have liked and the wind was quite unpredictable. The active runway was 15 but the winds were often better for another runway. I would rather be safe and take the active than risk causing a problem by choosing another runway when the airport is very busy.

I did a couple of touch and goes, none of which were great. I flew out and did a stall which was good and a steep turn which was sloppy at best. I came back in and did a final landing and called it a day. I wasn't really happy with my performance today, but nothing was terrible, so it was still a good day out. I felt a bit uncomfortable behind the yoke today which hasn't happened for a while. I need to get more time in for practice so I can always feel confident on my flights.

Duration: .7
Total Hours: 85.9

First $100 Hamburger = Bust

3:42 PM Saturday, March 19, 2011

My wheels were off the ground at 10:30am this morning. I climbed to 1200 and turned crosswind. I decided to do a quick touch and go and examine the visibility before I headed south. Mike (works as a line guy) just landed with his grandkids and warned me that visibility sucks because of haze. He was right. I had plenty to stay VFR but it kind of robbed me of the great views on a clear day.

My touch and go went great, I once again proved I haven't forgotten how to land, one of these days I will believe that before it happens :) I took off on 15 and headed North for a few minutes while I got clearance to transition through QC airspace. Once I had radar contact I proceeded on course of 195. Things were progressing beautifully. I requested flight following for QC approach and they switched me off to Chicago Center. Chicago switched me to Kansas City Center and the flight down was pretty uneventful. I did pass over a plane headed perpendicular to me about 1000 feet below me, which was really cool. It is the first plane I have encountered in flight (other than others in the pattern or on my training field). I terminated flight following about 8 miles north of Quincy and descended to land on 13. It was super quiet at KUIN so it was just me hanging out. I landed, a pretty good one, secured the plane, and headed into the FBO (great river aviation).

I was expecting to eat at Tailwinds the restaurant on the field. However, the FBO informed me that it closed a few months ago. Oh no! My first $100 hamburger was a bust. Then Great River Aviation saved the day, they offered me their crew car to head into Quincy to eat something. Not what I had planned, but I thought I had enough time to head into town to eat something. I drove the main strip and didn't see anything other than chain restaurants. So I turned back and decided to stop at Fridays. So my first $100 hamburger was really a club sandwich :)

Once back at the FBO I did a quick weather check and headed out to the plane. On my way out I took a picture of the plane sitting on the field and a very nice gentleman asked if I wanted my picture taken by the plane. AWESOME! He got a couple of good ones too.

I did my preflight and was ready to start up. There was another plane getting ready to go do some training so I was trying to hold off on starting up until he headed out. So I waited and waited and waited. I finally decided there were not going to go anywhere so I started up and wouldn't you know, they started to taxi. GRR. So I followed them down the ramp and waited for the them to run-up and take off. It took forever, I was literally hearing cha-ching, cha-ching as the hobbs meter ticked upward.

Finally off the ground I headed north. I wasn't going to pick up flight following on the way back, but that would have negated one of my goals for the flight. So I called up Kansas City Center and got flight following for the way back. I am glad I did because there was a crap ton of traffic. The ATC guy was like stay on your toes you have targets heading at you from everywhere. I was on the radios like crazy. The first target I didn't have in site and he was unverified at my altitude so I requested an altitude change to 5500 feet. Approved I climbed and saw the traffic as I was on my way up, he passed under me and was no factor. Another plane passed over me at about 6200 feet and in front of me by about a 1/2 mile. The third one was well below me and no factor again. After the Burlington VOR and the traffic was clear, they switched me off to QC approach. They had trouble with my transponder, so I cycled it and they still didn't have it. I was advised to stay at 5500. About 10 miles from QC airport they picked up the transponder again.

With Davenport in sight I was approved for frequency change and started my decent. Winds were more than I would have liked coming back into Davenport. They were 110@12G20. Once I was below 2000 feet it was super bumpy, I came in and landed on 15. It was not my best landing but I was pretty proud of it for being at my personal max crosswind of 10kts (it might be time to bump that up to 12).

Landed, secured, paid, headed home. I have had my fix for a few days at least. Kind of hoping to fly again on Friday, we will see if I have some money and the weather cooperates.

Goals set for this flight

  • Transition through QC Airspace for ATC Practice - Check

  • Pick up Flight Following for ATC practice - Check

  • Land at a new airport - Check

  • Do a couple of touch and goes and concentrate on rudder usage - Didn't really accomplish, the three landings I did I was very conscious of my rudder but didn't get to do touch and goes like I wanted.

  • Concentrate on in air rudder usage - Check, very conscious of it, still needs work.

Proposed Flight - KDVN to KUIN

1:03 PM Friday, March 18, 2011

Hello my name is Beth and I am an addict. It has been 17 days since my last flight. I can't wait to go flying tomorrow. The weather looks beautiful, 50 degrees and sunny with winds 5-10kts. I am planning on flying from Davenport Iowa (KDVN) to Quincy Illinois (KUIN). All of my flights these days have learning goals involved because I am still pretty new at this and I want to be great at it someday. So tomorrow my goals are:

  • Transition through QC airspace for ATC practice

  • Pick up Flight Following for additional ATC practice

  • Land at a new airport (KUIN)

  • Do a couple touch and goes and really concentrate on my rudder usage

  • Concentrate on in air rudder use (coordination) at all times

I am pretty comfortable with those goals for this flight. Looks like it will be about 2 hours of flight time, probably a bit more with run-up and taxi. I will post how I did on the goals later this weekend, and hopefully I will have some pictures. Route image is below.

Women can fly too!

9:26 PM Monday, March 7, 2011

On July 20th 2010 when I went to the airport for my introductory flight I hadn't given much thought to how many women pilots there were in the United States (or world). It never even occurred to me that it was still an issue in this modern day. I was raised with the mindset that I could do whatever I wanted and I haven't really given my gender a second thought in anything I have set out to do. Well as my time in aviation has continued I have realized that I am a minority and bias does exist.

The stats show that about 6% of pilots in the United States are women, this boils down to about 45,000 of us. That is not very many. We can all fit in most major sports arenas (which would be awesome)!

Every new airport I land at has at least one skeptic eyeing me precariously as I enter the FBO after securing my plane. At first I thought this was my imagination, but as time has gone on, I realize it is just fact. For some reason a lot of male pilots are still very reluctant to share the air with women. I am a realist and I know that not all women are capable of being pilots, some don't possess the mechanical knowledge or will to learn that mechanical knowledge, but the fact is that if they don't possess that skill the likely hood that they will earn a certificate is pretty slim. So what I say to all those skeptical male pilots out there is that I put in my time and took the same tests that you did and I passed. Gender differences aside, I am just as capable as you.

My challenge to women pilots of the world is to prove that we are strong, capable, safe pilots and to encourage any woman you know that has a dream to fly to pursue that dream. If you encounter prejudice, persevere; if you encounter acceptance, rejoice.

First Passenger!

10:45 PM Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I finally got to take my first passenger today! A long time ago (ok it has only been a few months) when I started my training I promised my husband he could have the first ride when I had a license. Well, in my mind I thought maybe that would happen a day or two after I got my license. Not so much. 5 weeks later, we both finally got our schedules coordinated and the weather cooperated (sort of) and we got to go. Dan actually facilitated it by incorporating it into our date night. He called the FBO and booked the plane then he called me and said get your work done because we are going flying at 3:30 today. Who was I to argue!!!

I actually decided to go do some touch and goes before Dan met me at the airport. This served two purposes, one it burned some fuel so we wouldn't be too heavy and two it made sure I could handle the wind today. My first landing of the day was ugly!! Cross winds have always been my nemesis and today was no different, I know I can handle them, but dang it, the wind had the better of me on that landing. The second and third landings were pretty good and I was right at my personal max crosswind component 10kts (270@11 on runway 33). I was confident I could make the landings today and so I came in and waited for Dan to get to the airport.

While I was waiting I talked to my Flight Instructor for a while. He seemed pretty bored, things are slow, especially because the weather has sucked. It was good to talk with him, I really need to make some pilot friends so I have someone to talk shop with occasionally, didn't realize how much I missed it.

Well 3:50 rolls around and Dan walks in the airport, I am so excited I am about ready to jump out of my skin. We go out, I do a really quick pre-flight since I have already checked everything and flown for about a half hour. I talk Dan through a few things and then we climb in. We get all situated and I explain some of the instruments to Dan and what he needs to avoid being in the way of, especially on take-off and landing. He says "I am not going to touch anything!" That made me smile a bit.

We taxi to 33, do a run-up and line up to take-off. Full throttle, 60 kts, rotate and we are off, it was a pretty smooth take-off, Dan hardly noticed we left the ground (at least this is what I will tell myself). We departed to the Northeast and headed up the Mississippi for a while. We talked about some of the gauges and what things did. We had a discussion about leaning the mixture and why we do it. Overall it was a lot of fun for me to share flying with him. I wish we could have gone for longer or had a destination, but overall it was just a lot of fun.

We turned around right before the widest part of the Mississippi and headed back to Davenport. The skies were busy today and there was one other plane in the pattern and one waiting to depart when we got back. I jumped in as #2 in the pattern for runway 21. I slowed down and extended my downwind a bit for the other plane to land and then as I was turning final the plane on the ground announced they were departing, I again radioed that I was on final and the guy said he would hold for traffic. Phew, thought I was going to have to yell at him for not listening for traffic.

Widest Part of the Mississippi
Widest Part of the Mississippi

I was a bit unstable coming in and I missed the center line, but the landing stuck and it wasn't my worst. I had wanted it to be better, but Dan commented that he thought it would be rougher so I guess that is a good thing. Dan said he would go up with me again, so I guess that is a as good as I can ask for. Now I am ready for my next passenger, I love sharing aviation, who wants to go?!