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?!



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