My Flight Journal

Saturday, December 13, 2003 3:05pm

Again, it's been a month since I last flew. This is getting to be a recurring theme with me.

This time of year, flying after work pretty much guarantees nothing but night flights. I got 1.8 in the other night. The 172P that I planned to fly had a problem with the mixture control, in that even with the knob all the way out the engine wouldn't cut off. They were shutting it off with the key. The only other available 172P has horrible cockpit lighting. The instruments are practically unreadable at night. So the owner was nice enough to let me take the 172R for the price of a P.

We did a soft field takeoff out of SFB - which I did much better on, even though it was damn dark - and headed west for Leesburg (LEE). About half way there, I went under the hood and did about 0.6 of BAI [basic attitude, instruments], plus some more of the unusual attitude training that I love so much. Then we found LEE and did a half dozen touch and go's, including some partial flap and no-flap landings.

After departing LEE, my instructor had me look up various things on the charts while he flew the plane. After a while, he gave it back to me and told me to hold it at 1500ft. I had an idea he was trying to get me lost, and indeed he was. I spotted an airport beacon in the direction SFB should have been, and continued towards it - all the while thinking that we were too far north but staying with it anyway. I began thinking it was really DeLand (DED) and not SFB. My instructor wasn't saying anything but I was getting the vibe that he knew we were pointed at the wrong airport. And sure enough, as we got close enough it became obvious that it was DED. He said he thought it was Daytona, so at least I got that part right. Landing back at SFB was uneventful.

One thing I've noticed about night flying is that every little cough of the engine or strange noise in the airplane is magnified about 100 times.

Back      (26)      Next

  1. In the beginning   (pages 1 - 5)   6. Hurricane Season Begins   (pages 42 - 47)
  2. Pre-Solo   (pages 6 - 21)   7. Hurricane Season Ends   (pages 48 - 54)
  3. First Solo!   (pages 22 - 26)   8. Solo Cross-Countries   (pages 55 - 58)
  4. First Night XC   (pages 27 - 32)   9. Checkride!   (page 59)
  5. Longest Flight Yet   (pages 33 - 41)  
Email me! Visitors