Thursday, April 15, 2010
I Need Solid Ground...--April 14, 2010
Woke up on my own at 7:32 A.M. My alarm was set for 7:45. I don't like this!!!
The skies looked good. Grabbed breakfast, showered, called TRACON, headed for the airport.
For the express sake of allowing my nose to heal, I opted to go with the lower flight plans today...the ones around 11,500-12,500. So I flew up to altitude and headed first off for the flight plan that the company asked me to grab from yesterday. I remember heading 320 degrees, aimed directly towards the mountains, when I looked on my screen and saw 35 miles to go. I swear I was only 20 miles from the aggressive slopes!!! And sure enough, this flight plan put me RIGHT IN the thick of things over the slopes. I had the peak at 14,600 to my southwest, but even more concerning was the jagged edges of rock just 1000 feet below me. I kid you not. Some were higher, some were lower, but I was just over the tops of these foothills, flying WEST deeper into the rough terrain. What is more, the winds were brutal up there. They weren't too bad on the ground (15 knots?), but they were killing me up here on these slopes. I was only able to complete one line, and I gingerly turned out of there. It was not pretty.
Actually, it sucked! It was so bumpy back in there. And literally, I was looking for which path I would take if I lost an engine. Sometimes I couldn't turn a certain way (with an engine loss) or I would descend into the side of the mountain! I had to figure out where I would coast down at all times! It was silly.
So I headed to another plan on our next project. And I tell you what, it was more of the same. Most of the flat city has been done (90% of it). The flight plans that were left? You guessed it...the ones over the mountains. Simply because they are stupid to fly! But I tried anyway. I was only able to get one line done. I was just getting beaten to death...having a hard time focusing on the instruments it was so bad. I HATE this type of flying.
I tried another plan, but it was nasty turbulent, too, so I called it. I landed back at Centennial. I had logged 1.9 hours. I felt bad, though. I had expected to fly at least 8 hours today and get some work done. And I knew that the winds way up high were probably more favorable...at least the bumps wouldn't be so bad. So I asked the FBO to top me off, and I had them fill up my oxygen tank as I went and grabbed a bite to eat. I came back and hit the skies. AGAIN.
And this time, I climbed up to 14,500. And I was able to work on a couple of plans. I finished a small one, then moved on to a bigger one. I had light chop at first. But as I neared the southern portion of my second flight plan (over the mountains), I was just getting rocked. It didn't help that the winds were picking up, either. I was having a VERY hard time hitting my north-bound lines. So much so that I had to fly at least three of them over. I was so mad!!! I just wanted to be done!!!
I finished that one, and I had no problems in calling it a day. Frankly, the flight just wasn't fun. At all. I was feeling pretty weird, and it's something I've noticed. I always feel this way when there are STRONG winds. We had 35 knots up there today but strong updrafts and downdrafts. And I don't know what is going on some of the times, but my body senses it. I just get all out of whack. I feel disoriented even in plain ol' VFR conditions. It sucks. I have to look outside, see movement, focus on something and see myself move. I don't get it. Well, I felt pretty bad for a couple of hours. AND there were numerous times when I would look down and see me descending at 1000 feet per minute. And I couldn't even tell unless I looked at the VSI. Then I would look again, and I was ascending at 1000 feet per minute. Ah, this is so dumb! It's kind of fun if I'm flyin' SOMEWHERE. But to have to continually monitor the instruments and adjust the trim and adjust and throttles and look outside and...and...and...I was just so annoyed.
I was not having fun.
So after that second plan, I called it a day. It was just getting too nasty. I had logged 5.0 hours total.
The rest of the day was pretty simple. I talked to my boss who should be joining me tomorrow or the next day. It'll be nice to have a second aircraft helping out, although I'm not too thrilled about having a roommate again. I've enjoyed the time by myself!!! I also spent more time trying to find equipment to do my 100-hour. I'm only 25-ish hours away, but I can't find anyone on the field to loan us jackstands. It's been a frustrating process.
I went out to eat for supper tonight at the same place as last night...Mega Wraps. I tried going to a sports bar (I was craving wings), but the one I went to was closed for renovation. So frustrating!
I stayed in the hotel tonight and ended up spending two hours out in the lobby talking to the desk chick. What a sorry existence. It was nice to be out of the room, though.
The next few days are lookin' to be poor weather. And I am thrilled to death. Tomorrow looks like low clouds, so I'll at least get a scouting flight in. But the next three days after that are all rain. I couldn't be more excited!
I now have 170 multi hours. And to think just over a month ago, I only had 89. Sixty of those have come from April alone. I am certainly flying quite a bit, and I am soooooooooo eager to break that 200-hour mark. I am just hopin' for the airlines. It's what I've wanted to do since I went through training. If I can just make it!!!
Although...I had an interesting talk with the boss today. There may be another opportunity on the horizon. I guess time will tell. It could be HUGE, though. What to do, what to do.
Went to bed right at midnight.
I'm not even setting my alarm.