Wednesday, November 18, 2009
"Severe Clear"--November 18, 2009
Woke up at 7:30. A common theme in my life. Walked outside...a bit chilly. Went to breakfast...temps were in the 30's...this cold front was still hanging around! But the man on the TV told me to expect 67 degrees today. Sweet mother, I love this place called Texas.
Grabbed my gear and headed to the airport with Matt. This time I called the DFW TraCon and told them what we would like to do...map in their Class B airspace! The guy had me fax in a map, and after lookin' at it, he said, "Uhhhh...hmm..." [yes, my friend, we literally ARE going to be hanging around in your airspace for awhile!] "...you know what, I tell you what, let's just give this a shot and see what happens." ha! I told him we would get out of their airspace if things didn't work out just to keep him happy.
The weather was BEAU-tiful!!! I mean, wow. Pilots salivate over days like these. Winds are 4 knots, visibility is unrestricted...it's almost too easy. I started up the plane, taxied out, and took off. After bumps and 40-knot winds yesterday, this was a walk in the park. A MUCH welcomed walk in the park, I might add.
I flew out south of Fort Worth to get started. I talked to Approach Control who had my map sitting in front of her. GOOD! Sometimes things actually do work out. I started right at 9:22 on my first line. And I could see forever! I mean, literally! The only reason why I couldn't make out things in the distance was because my eyes weren't made to see 100 miles...and the earth starts to curve! But it was some of most crisp weather I've flown in...30 miles looked like six.
The day itself was pretty uneventful. Matt had alternator problems to had to land just 30 minutes after taking off. Poor guy. I hate when maintenance issues take away a good day. It just makes for a boring day on the ground. I could've sure used his help, too, to finish all the plans in Class B airspace, but that's just the nature of the beast. You can rarely plan on anything!
I had numerous traffic calls throughout the day, but most of it was general aviation traffic. The approaches were being done on the north side of Dallas-Fort Worth, so I was kind of on my own all day! Pretty nice. A Pilatus, a Cessna, a Seneca...actually lots of Cessna's...but most were easy to spot.
I landed at 12:30 for lunch and fuel at Dallas Executive Field. And let me tell you, I loooooooove coming in through smooth air! Wow! I was descending at over 1000 feet from 5500 feet. It's so nice knowing that your bowels wouldn't either a. get yanked out of your butt or b. fly up through your mouth. It was just a pleasant ride down...and gorgeous with the Dallas skyline on my right as I set up for Runway 17.
I was back up in the air after 20 minutes and started where I left off. Outside of the city limits it gets pretty desolate. As in real desolate. Lots of cotton fields and country life. Our next project is even further south, and I'm afraid we're going to see nothing but fields and oblivion for as far as we can see. Enjoy the city sights while I can!
Landed back at Cleburne at 3:35. All in all, a great day. Another 6.3 hours in the logbook.
Went out to eat tonight...and ended up talking with our waitress. She invited me to play volleyball with her tomorrow night! I inquired further, and it's a group of folks from a Mennonite church here in town. This ought to be interesting, to say the least! But I'm lookin' forward to it, for sure!
I'm supposed to have my 100-hour inspection tomorrow, though, after I land, so we'll see if I even have time. I'm down to 6.2 hours left before it's due...which gives me another solid day's worth of work.
I surpassed the 50-hour mark for the month of November already...and I just started flying less than two weeks ago! I love Texas weather!
Looks to be a slow night...a few hours before bedtime...not a clue what I'll be doing...