Friday, March 26, 2010

Snow on the Ground--March 26, 2010


Woke up at 9:00 A.M.  Grabbed some breakfast, then requested the hotel shuttle to the airport.

I loafed around the breakfast area for quite awhile today...just listenin' to people...and lookin' outside at the snow on the ground.  We had around an inch or so.  I finally went back to the room and got ready.

I was at the airport at 11:00 A.M.  Because I knew I wouldn't be taking pictures, I inquired as to where a restaurant was at one of the nearby airports.  I was given a few different names, but I finally decided to fly northwest to Port Clinton.  I went outside to pre-flight the airplane, and it was COLD!!!  And very windy.  I hate the winter!

I was a bit nervous today in regards to the winds, as I wasn't sure how this airplane handled in gusty conditions.  The winds were 050 at 16 knots gusting to 26.  But I went for it anyway...the best way to learn.  Of course, it helped that I had Runway 7 to use.  Basically, I didn't feel much.  This airplane just slices through the winds.  Perfect.

I climbed up to 4500 feet VERY quickly and pointed the nose to Port Clinton.  I was doing 151 knots over the ground, hitting 156 knots on my descent.  I'll take that any day!  I LOVE this airplane!!!  I landed on Runway 9...not bad at all.  My confidence is slowly building.  I thought there was a restaurant on the field, but I was wrong.  But the guys gave me a courtesy car, and I went and checked out Dianna's Deli just across from the airport.  It was superb!  I wish I had a deli like that back home!  The menu was just absolutely full of sandwiches and soups.  I would love to eat there again.  They actually filled me up so much that I had to take a to-go box...which I never do!

I hurried back to the airport so that I could make it back to Lorain by 1:00.  I had told the shuttle to pick me up then.  The flight back was pretty simple...and quick enough.  I was doing 130 knots across the ground.  Still respectable!  I lined up for Runway 7 and landed very nicely...though for whatever reason I simply failed to put any flaps in.  I was obviously distracted with the GUMPFS check to even remember that.  I was pretty disturbed by that.  GRR.  I need to use the paper checklist I made.

I did have a slip-up, though.  And it haunted me.  On climb-out today, I initially leveled off at 3500...but then I continued up to 4500...all fairly quickly after departing.  I was simply afraid that I had busted into the Cleveland Class B airspace unintentionally.  All I could think about was them calling the airport and requesting my tail number.  So much so that I actually called them this afternoon to let them know that I may have unintentionally come in.  They had no record of anything, and the woman was very nice about it, so that was good.  But I was relieved.  It just boggles my mind how easy it is to get distracted with doing everything else that I could miss something so important.  A lesson learned.  FOCUS.

The rest of the day was pretty simple.  I walked to Wal-Mart and McDonald's later in the day.  One for some cash for laundry (I just bought a candy bar), and one for sweet tea.  Then I dropped into Best Buy to buy an external hard-drive that I've been putting off for over a year now (since my laptop nearly crashed in December 2008).  I spent the rest of the night inside watching the NCAA tourney, reading an FAA book, and talking to Jennifer.

But I am really tired.  And my stomach is doing weird things.  So I am hitting the sack at 11:30 P.M.  I'm eager to get some sleep.

Tomorrow is lookin' perfect.  Almost all of the snow has melted off since this afternoon, and it's supposed to be in the 50's tomorrow.  And the clouds are supposed to be at 25,000 feet.  Basically, I'll be able to fly as long as the turbulence stays tame.  But I'm plannin' to get an early shot at it.  I have to coordinate with TRACON tomorrow to get inside Class B where I'll be for just about the entire project.  I'm hopin' that goes well.  If all goes well, I'll be flying several hours of revenue tomorrow.

Exactly what I've been waiting for.

In bed at 11:30.

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