Tuesday | Written | Cross Country to Ottawa & East Kansas City | Downtown – Night Flying

I woke up quite tired in the morning, having gone to sleep late, but I got on with it.

I went straight to downtown airport to sit my written exam. I scored 82% so I was happy that I got it out the way. The test crashed at the end so I thought I might have to sit it again because it wasn’t printing my scores but it was sorted! I went back to the school and got some lunch then started planning for my cross country flight straight away.

I didn’t get to finish planning because I had to rush to the airport. I continued planning for the flight at Midwest. I was was planning from Midwest to Ottawa (the airport I chose-see previous post), then to East Kansas City (to get the landing gear fixed), then back to Midwest.

The planning took a while. Brandon drew on the whiteboard whilst I was planning. Check his artwork out! Pretty sweet, huh?!

We set off around 4:30pm. Ottawa was cool! It was quiet, well actually it was desolate. There were some cool planes just sitting there that were abandoned or something. See pics! Oh on my flight, I did most of it under the hood to add more hours of instrument flying time needed for the private pilot training program.

We departed quickly, heading towards east kansas city. Brandon simulated a deviation in the flight plan (something that’ll happen in the check ride), so he drew a box around where we were on the map and said everywhere around you there are tornados, thunderstorm, dust devils – basically bad weather you can’t fly through….lots of other things like monsters, ghosts, dinosaurs and stuff… – find somewhere to land safety. So I saw this small private runway on the map and I figure out how to navigate to it. I didn’t do too well at it but we did eventually find it. It was the first time I’d had to to do something like this – it was a good learning experience and I had learnt the technique and would be able to do it if we simulated it again, or if it happened for real I guess.

So, we carried on to east kansas city airport (3GK), flying up until finals under the hood, to add to my instrument flying hours, in fact completing them. Raul was already there working on our other aircraft. He fitted a new landing light into our aircraft (remember it failed during flight when I went to Columbia?), and he also noticed several flat-spots from one of the tyres from locking the brakes when landing, so he put a new tyre on too. We chilled at the airport, had some snacks and waited a while until the sun went down a little more. I took some pictures inside where we were chilling. Also, a few around the ramp and also in the hanger where Raul was working from. There were some cool planes being restored! It was awesome to see the frames and structures of the aircraft being restored/built.

We flew to downtown, (which I’d already been to in the morning for my written!) to practise landings at night at a towered airport. When we got there, the sun was still setting, so we went into the flying school there and sat about for a while until it got properly dark.

When it was dark, we did three touch and goes and then headed to Johnson County (KOJC), a towered airport near by, but as we got there the air traffic controller told us the tower was closing so we just did one touch and go there and headed back for downtown so I could practise landing at an airport where it’s controlled (with a tower), which I needed to do to add up the hours for that. At one point there was a jet coming in so whilst we were on the downwind(parallel with the runway flying towards the beginning of the runway), I had to do a 360 turn to let the jet land before I could and I also had to be aware of wake turbulence – it was just a small jet so it was fine. It was good experience to be given an instruction in the pattern which I’m not used to, since it will DEFINITELY happen in the future as a commercial pilot.

I was having a bit of a problem with my landings. I was using the rudder too much to correct for the nose not pointing straight down the runway, but I was just getting a bit disorientated and being too dramatic with the controls and that was kinda making my landings quite poor. After a couple more we headed back to Midwest and did three landings there, to add to my night landings. Two of them were emergency landings – the first I didn’t manage and had to go around but the last one to a full stop was good. :)

So in one day, I had passed my written exam, which usually takes a few weeks for someone to study for, but only took me three days because I worked REALLY hard and also I had some knowledge from my degree, I did all the dual cross country hours I needed, all the instrument flying time needed and all the night hours needed!

So now I just have to do 2.7 hours solo at Midwest, in the practise area or in the circuit – just pottering about! I also need 5 hours solo cross country time, which we’re planning to do in one go. So I have to do 5 hours, with 150nm minimum for the trip, three separate legs and also landing at a towered airport on the way. We have a specific cross country planned out for that so I need to do that, then I’m done in terms of my requirements for the program. Then it’s just flight reviews to perfect everything then my check ride!

It’s been a veryyyyyy long day.

I’m flying to east kansas city again tomorrow, but taking Chinzo with me too. Brandon and Chinzo will take the other aircraft which is having some maintenance done to it and Chinzo will have a lesson and I will fly back to Midwest by myself, practising all the manoeuvres on the way in the practise area.

The plan is to fly 1.5 in the morning, followed by another 1.5 in the afternoon then maybe even a flight review in the evening.

Click HERE for Fullscreen! :)

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