Finally back in the saddle


Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Right at the end of August, I went ahead and did a flight review after 3 years of not flying. Got signed off, and over the last month did just some little go-over-the-hill flights and back to knock off the rust. Booked the CFI a few more times to brush up on things where I was weak.

Today, I went down to HEF, picked up the lowest-priced Skyhawk that was available, and took off for an XC to Hanover. I'm a little rusty on towered-airport ops, but things came back to me. I did spend a bit of time talking with one of the CFIs down there to make sure I knew their procedures at HEF and get a consult on some of the visual waypoints. (Note - the railroad tracks inbound to HEF from the West are a FANTASTIC way to set up a left base for 34R/34L.)

There has been a front moving in, but the TAFs and METARS all said it was legal and flyable, and despite the really gusty winds, it looked good. Pretty uneventful flight (having to skirt class B, restricted areas around Quantico and deal with the SFRA is a lesson in task management) until I got to what was, ostensibly, the front.

Suddenly, there's my primary instructor in my ear again, and we're over TKI with gusty Texas winds. "You just gotta ride out the bumps and maintain attitude as best you can. Don't fight it. Roll with it." I did this. Bit unnerving, but the wings stayed attached to the plane and I didn't hit anything I wasn't supposed to.

Slowed the plane down some, steered around one rain shaft, and made it to Hanover. Landed, (wasn't high again! Didn't have to go around!) Yay!) shut down, filed a new SFRA flight plan and headed back.

Was anticipating getting tossed around again, but it was pretty smooth. Then I get into clear air about 15mi south of HWY and WHUMP.

It's a little unnerving when the airplane is moving around all three axes without your express permission.

Dealt with it, though, got cleared into the SFRA, got back to HEF and managed a nifty little short-field landing on 34R.

Felt good. Finally felt like a real pilot again. Felt like I made a solid decision to fly in less-than-perfect conditions and handled it well. Sitting around 130TT right now. Gotta find the dough for an IR.