Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Half Day--March 27, 2010

Woke up at 8:00.  I called Cleveland TRACON this morning to coordinate working in the Class B airspace.  Basically, the gentleman told me that I was working in a very bad area.  I said "yup" and said I needed to be there.  He pretty much told me I was going to get kicked out at 11:00 because of the "big push."  Ah, big you have become.  <sigh>  But I merely agreed and went along with it.  No worries, I said.  I could fly around until they let me back in.  He also said that 3:30 or so would be bad, too.  Whatever.  As long as I can work the entire day, I'm ok with working around them.  That is fine.  Let's work together.  I grabbed some breakfast, then took the shuttle to the airport at 8:50.  It was a busy morning already!

I was started up around 9:20, but I had some computer problems, so I didn't get airborne until around 9:40.  I was expecting a full day of work, but little did I know, that just wasn't goin' to happen.  I flew out my flight plans.  Crap.  The snow still hadn't melted.  And there was more out here to the southeast than back over in Lorain.  Grr.  I finished one flight plan (just three pictures), but I knew it was going to be bad.  I couldn't do it!  I started another one, but I quit before I finished the line.  The snow was still VERY noticeable on the northern shadows...roofs, ditches, treelines, yards.  I had to abort.  I called up Approach and told them I was done just a few minutes after starting.  Grr!!!

I went back to land at Lorain County.  I had a couple of airplanes in the pattern, and I opted to just do a right-hand downwind to the airport.  But as I turned, I knew I was way high.  I dumped in more flaps, but it just wasn't lookin' right.  I tried to nose over a bit to get down, but the airspeed was just too much.  GRRRR!!!  As I neared the runway, I just couldn't risk it.  I did a go-around.  I hate those!  But it just wasn't worth me floating and going off the end.  The next one was just fine.  No problems.

I had logged 0.9 so far today.

I went inside the airport and just sat.  I tell you, though, overnight I have been given new respect.  I talked to a man in the FBO for quite some time, and once he learned that I was flying the Aztec, he was oogly googly over me.  WAY much more than if I had said a 172.  He has flown mainly local and is admittedly nervous about a desired flight to Atlanta, Georgia.  I did nothing but spit confidence and encouragement into him.  Planes and pilots are meant to fly...and not locally...I told him.  Get in there, plane it out really well, and take your wife to Atlanta!!!  I really hope he goes.  Another guy never took his eyes off of the Aztec as he walked by.  I watched him from inside.  Frankly, it IS just a light-twin, but all of a sudden, I went from being a 172 pilot to a real pilot just overnight.  It is unbelievably noticeable.

After a couple of hours, I took the courtesy van into town for Subway, but I came right back.  I was anticipating going back up again this afternoon because of the warmer temps.  I waited around some more, then did just that.  At 1:45, I headed out again.  This time, we had business.  The snow had melted (most of it)!

I spent the next couple of hours getting bumped around.  Frankly, it is WAY different than turbulence in a 172.  In a 172, I get thrown up, then down rather aggressively in the afternoon.  This is more like driving a car over bumps in the road.  I am not ramping them like in a Cessna.  But they are certainly noticeable.  I definitely had to have my seatbelt on.  I thought about calling it for quite awhile as it was rather uncomfortable, but I just kept flying.  I wanted to get a good chunk done with this project.  So I pushed through.

That is...until Approach canceled my clearance.  They had to call me off due to excessive traffic.  I wish I could hear myself again on the radios.  It went something like this.

"Aztec, we're, uh goin' to have to cancel your survey work here."

"Aztec, <sigh> Roger."

He made another call to a jet.  Then silence.

"Aztec, now what are your intentions"?

I made sure to let him know my disappointment.  "Aztec, <very loud and long disappointed and frustrating sigh>, ummm...I guuuuuessssss I will have to head back to Lorain <sigh> and get back up with you guys tomorrow."  I made sure to let him know that I WILL be back up here.  That I WILL be back in the exact same area.  It is so annoying.  I understand traffic can get more than the slower times of the day.  But c'mon, guys, let's work together!!!  You are Cleveland, for crying out loud!  I have been at 3500 feet THE ENTIRE DAY with no deviations!!!  I am not going to move off of that altitude!  It is severe clear.  It's OK to tell the jets to descend and maintain 4000 instead of whatever you are used to telling them.  It's OK to change your words a bit.  I wasn't too happy.  I had relegated myself to flying as much as I could on this project today...however uncomfortable it get in the Bravo and get out.  But I didn't expect to be forced out.

I headed back to Lorain County.  I had finished five flight plans...out of 20.  GRR!!!

I landed right around 3:50 P.M.  I had logged a total of 3.2 hours today.  Simply not enough.  I won't lie, though...I WAS kind of glad to get out of the turbulence.  It's not too fun.  But I have a project to finish!!!

I stayed at the airport for the next couple of hours as I had told the shuttle to be there at 6:00.  Buuuut, about 15 minutes before he showed up, an amazingly beautiful L-39 Albatross was pulled out of the hangar.  And I was in love with it.  I talked to the owner/pilot, and I wanted to be there for his take-off.  I'm serious...this plane was GORGEOUS.  Absolutely pristine.  So one of the FBO ladies said she would give me a ride back to the hotel.  I gave the driver $5 and apologized for him driving out.  He seemed fine with it.

I watched the jet take off...along with about 10 others!  It was a beauty.  He certainly had our attention.

I ended up hanging out with the girl for the night.  We went to Texas Roadhouse, then chilled at her house.  It was nice to get out of the hotel for awhile.  Tomorrow looks like crap.  Rain, rain, rain.  I'm not even plannin' on gettin' up.

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