my first cross country today

bLizZuE

Wear your mask!
it was hard.

trying to balance navigating with my sectional, and flying, talking to approach.

ugh.

i need to study more
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
It gets easier.

The most important thing is that you always burn more gas than anticipated, and when things get tricky, throw the flight plan in the back seat and fly the aircraft.

I would sometimes get mired down in the minutia of the flight plan and keeping up with the paperwork, I'd fly the aircraft poorly. Then my CFI said that flying the aircraft was way more important than breaking out the E6B.
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
Congradulations, Seriously.
You will have alot of stories to tell before its over. I remember my first cross country, I flew the time distance heading until my log said I should be there ... yet no airport??? I was about 3 miles south of it, the airport was in a valley just beyond a big ridge and I couldn't see it based on my line of sight. I circled for about 5 minutes before I treapadiciously (sp) peeked over the ridge and walla there it was.


Have fun and relax its suppose to be work but it can also be alot of fun.
 

E_Dawg

Moderator
Congrats! You don't sound too happy though, what gives?

The hard stuff gets much easier with time... to the point where you can just have fun with it.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
This is something that a good flight sim program can really help out with. If you "fly" the route that you're going to do for your cross country, then you'll feel a lot more confident and things will naturally flow more smoothly.

I love flying cross country. It's the closest you'll get to sightseeing when you're flying the airplane!
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Relax, it will get easier. On my long crss country I had a bought of air sickeness. Now that is tough... Try flying with one and while puking in the other. That was about the worst ever..... I knew exactly where I was, so it made it all teh asier to get back home. Congrats on the flight.
 

aloft

New Member
My long solo XC turned into my first and hopefully last foray into scud running. It was supposed to be a simple Montgomery - Imperial - Thermal - Montgomery trip, but coming back over the mountains into San Diego, I was greeted with the coastal stratus layer covering where I needed to go. SoCal was pressuring me to start my descent, so I spiralled down through the first hole on my flight path. As soon as I was beneath the layer, I looked to the west toward the direction I needed to go and to my horror saw nothing but mountain with tops obscured. I then glanced at my airspeed indicator, which was hovering just above 50 kts! In my mild panic of having my desired route blocked off by cumulogranite, I had neglected to clean up the flaps and add power back in. I immediately began circling to determine my options. To make matters worse, the mountains blocked radio communications with the approach controller so I couldn't talk to them. (I can only imagine what they were thinking, a student pilot in a 1500 fpm descent, then losing both radar and radio contact.....)

I looked to the south and at the far end of a valley I could see sunlight shining from the west. Realizing that was my ticket to better conditions, I headed south down the valley at about 600' AGL, only a few hundred feet below the ceiling. As I came to the end of the valley where the sunlight shone through, I hit what I recognized as the I-8 interstate and followed it into San Diego.

After I landed and got my taxi clearance, ground advised that Flight Service was looking for me as I had botched my flight planning and was over an hour late (I had made a measurement error on the sectional on two legs which neither my instructor nor I caught). My instructor was not amused by my logbook entry, which said, in part " 'I.F.R.' " He said "what's this?!", in his "wtf?" tone, to which I answered "I follow roads".


Yes, XCs do get better, especially with aids like DUATS and GPS.
(Not that I use these as a crutch, mind you; I planned my most recent XC to Las Vegas as if it were an IFR flight, selecting route and altitudes from a low-altitude enroute IFR chart, and flew the needles along the airways like a good instrument student.
)
 

b_r

New Member
Congrats on successful flight, you'll probably never forget it!

As Doug said, it gets easier, and alot more fun as you get used to balancing all the tasks at hand. And as you probably realized, the more prep work you do prior to runup leads to a more relaxed flight. It does help to study the sectional carefully before you go and look for the little details that will help you find your way.
 
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