Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bad wx and good wx

To characterize this week, you could say the weather determined if it was a good day or not. A pretty significant storm front come through and most did not fly all week. I did get out on Monday, and I think Tuesday. I was then scheduled again for a single out and back on Wednesday, the day the storm was probably its worst. A single out and back means it is only one student and IP with two flights. It basically doubles your planning because on a normal out and back you only fly one flight and the other student does the other. To add insult to injury I had to plan a low level, meaning we were going to fly a military training route at 500 ft above the ground. There is pretty extensive planning that goes into this.

So anyway after having that afternoon and the next morning to plan it, I went into the brief with the IP. The brief actually went pretty well with the limited planning time I had. So we eventually make it out to the jet, anticipating not being able to do the low level route because of weather. As we were getting ready to start the engines, the controller called over the radio that no one could take off because the winds were out of limits. We sat there for a few waiting to see if they were going to lift it but, to no avail, we went back inside and waited it out. Eventually, he let me go and we canceled. Sweet, all that trouble for nothing, oh well, I should probably get used to it because I'm willing to bet that's how it is going to be from now on.

So, I had the next day, Thursday, off, which was nice. It also gave me plenty of time to plan my flight for Friday. The other student I was flying with on Friday was flying Thursday so I kind of just had to start without her. So, seeing that the weather was going to be clear and a million to the west, I decided to go to Amarillo to do practice instrument approaches and then a VFR leg down to Roswell, NM. VFR is visual flight rules, meaning we can kind of do what we want as long as we stay out of clouds. There was not a cloud in the sky, so no prob. I have to admit, I never thought I would ever go to Roswell, NM, but yesterday I found myself there, and it was a gorgeous day. Also, in case you were curious, Roswell, is in the middle of nowhere in a barren landscape. Anyway, after having some minor concerns about the aircraft, the speed brakes would initially not go down, we made it out of Roswell, alive and unscathed by any paranormal activity. Friday was such a great flight, the plan worked out great, it was a beautiful day, and I flew pretty well.

The pressure is starting to increase as our next checkride creeps closer. The navigation checkride is the big one. It accounts for like 20% of our overall grade. I think it is really lame that such a large portion of our grade hinges on one flight, but I guess thats how the AF conducts business. I estimate that I will check the the week that is two weeks from Monday, Oct 26. I believe that is the second week of Nov. It is kind of exciting though, because we could potentially be done flying by the Christmas break, meaning syllabus complete.

Until next time, pray for SURF,


No comments: