Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An "Almost" Break!--March 1, 2010


Woke up at 7:20 A.M.  Breakfast, shower, on the road!

It looked like we had an overcast layer at 1000 feet from the hotel, but the airport was indicating 10,000 feet.  It is SO hard to tell heighth from the ground!  There is just no frame of reference!

I loaded up my flight plan and had 120 miles to go!  ha!  Oh well...I LOVE flying TO somewhere.  It's the going around in circles that sometimes gets to me!  So I didn't really mind.  I got on station at 9:59 A.M...almost an hour later than expected.  These plans are SO far away!

I worked for about an hour and finished up a plan, then headed south.  But Matt and I had some overcast clouds that were dangling little fingers.  Hmm.  I had to stop one flight plan because of the low clouds.  They were hanging out at about 6000 feet.  And my plans were at 5900!

So I moved north.  More clouds.  They were chasing us!  And they were dropping as each hour progressed.

Well, we decided to land at noon for lunch.  We landed at Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and headed into town for some quick Arby's.  We were back at the airport in 30 minutes, and we headed back up for the skies.


I had clouds at 3200 feet!!!  In the short time we had dropped down for lunch, the clouds had dropped down 3000 feet!  Unbelievable!  Well, the clouds were broken, so I climbed through a couple of them.  I was barely on top when I saw something not so good!  Overcast up ahead!  Crap.

I ended up going through the clouds...and I was VFR.  Completely on accident, as I was trying to climb above them.  I flew for a few minutes, watching my strut, tire, and wings VERY closely.  The outside temp was 25 degrees.  I knew that it was clear below 3000 feet, as I could see the horizon way up north before I entered the clouds.  So I pulled back the throttle and descended.  The seconds seemed like minutes, though!  I was in the overcast!!!  I ended up going down at 1000 feet/minute...and finally I was out.  I never did see any ice on my wings, though.  But I was confused.  In all of the worry about ice, I had managed to turn a full 90 degrees.  Seriously.  I honestly could not believe it.  I had become distracted enough to not stay on my heading.  It's crazy how quick that can happen.  I was in the clouds for probably just 4-6 minutes.

Then I saw it.  Water drops were starting to creep back on the underside of my wings and all around my strut.  "You have got to be kidding me."  I instantly knew what it was, but I was surprised.  I could not see the ice on the wings (and granted, it was minimal), but it was all too clear now that it was melting.  Huh.  A good lesson there.

Well, obviously, we had too many clouds.  So I headed back for Branson.  139 miles away.  Yikes.

I flew 5.6 hours today.

We went out to eat, I grabbed a steak, and then I spent the evening making much-needed phone calls.  To family and friends.  It's been awhile.  One of those phone calls was actually from one of my fellow training buddies from 2008.  He had texted me on Friday saying he was doing an interview with Colgan.  Well, I never heard back from him Saturday or Sunday, so I figured it was bad news!  I waited for him to contact me.  And he did...and...HE IS HIRED!!!  He passed the sim ride, and he starts March 16!  Woo hoo!  I was incredibly excited for him.  We both wanted to do airlines, and after putting in his year and a half with instructing, he made it.  Well done, friend.  A serious congrats.  He obtained his private in March 2008, I think.  Not bad for two years.  He was hired with 1600 hours total time and 500 hours multi.  It's a success story.  Agh!!!  I had a bit of jealousy, though.  Not in pay or anything.  But in the fact that he made it!  That is what I want/ed to do!!!  But congrats!

I also did laundry...I was about a week overdue.  I knew that when I went INTO my dirty laundry bag for boxers and jeans today.  Yeah, it was that bad.

Shopped for a plane tonight...toyin' with the idea of ownin' one.  For business anyway.  We'll see what comes of that.  I'm tired of having a middle man.  ha!

Went to bed very tired at 11:25 P.M.

Tomorrow is iffy.  Clouds are forecast to be 2500-3500 overcast in our flight plans.  I'll believe it when I see it.

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