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Bill Womack

Another milestone bites the dust!

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I'm still walking around with a silly grin hours later. Mother nature finally cooked up the right combination of weather today, and I got to do my first solo cross-country flight. It was just a little 60nm hop from Portland Troutdale (KTTD) to Carlson/Lewis County (KTDO), but it felt great to finally break free of the Portland area and really go flying!And don't let anyone tell you FS can't come in handy when training for the real thing, either. I got a little confused on my headings when climbing past the BTG VOR and veered off-course a little to the left. However, I had already flown the flight in FS, and recognized immediately that things were amiss. Thanks to a little Microsoft-inspired pilotage, I was able to get back on track, and the rest of the flight was completed without incident. Glorious weather, too. Except for the fact that I was sandwiched into a narrow band between some fluffy cumulus and the ground, which didn't leave me much room to climb.If anyone is fence-sitting about whether to try flying for real, please, give it a go! It's incredibly irresponsible financially unless you're well-heeled, but I don't care. It's worth it!

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Congrats. I'd do it if it weren't so darn expensive around here (

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Bill,I had a very CRAZY experience many many years ago. I was on the return end of a solo flight KTOA/BAKERSFIELD/KTOA in a Cessna 150. I encountered some heavy turbelence as I was approaching the Santa Monica mountains. Needless to say I was very concerned. Things smoothed out after a short while. I checked my chart, and really misread it. I think I had the VOR reading 'from' instead of 'to'. I really believed - for a split second, mind you(LOL)- that a small lake shown on the right hand side of my route should have been on the left side. I really was thinking of making a note of that.Me correcting a published chart (LOL)!! But I realized my mistake and had a good laugh and proceeded on - vowing not to tell anybody of my stupidity. Now, everybody knows(LOL)Abe

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Good one, Abe! My heart attack yesterday came not from getting a bit confused about navigation. It was at the very end of the flight. I had been cleared to land and was on final when I heard a Cub call the tower and request a short-field takeoff. They cleared them, and the little yellow beast just taxied out onto the runway, with me less than a mile out! I was incredulous, and quickly jumped on the horn to tell them that I was going to make a 360 for spacing and come back for another try. They said, I kid you not, "The three-sixty not necessary, but approved." I swept around, and by the time I had returned to final, the little Cub was gone. Goes to show you, the view can sometimes be very different in the cockpit than from the tower.

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Close one, Bill.Speaking of going around. I used to fly for TWA as Service manager(chief flight attendant) mostly 747's.We were ferrying a 747 from LAX to LAS to pick up a group of people to fly them home. The captain invited me to sit right behind him on the jumpseat. Needless to say I was very thrilled.Now comes the best part. We are on final, approaching the end of the runway. Having flown mostly single-engine Cessnas and Cubs, I felt that we were a bit TOO HIGH - not taking into account that this is a 747. I could almost feel my hand unvoluntarily reaching for the Captain's shoulder to tell him to 'GO AROUND' - look who's telling whom to fly a 747(LOL).Fortunately, very fortunately, I restrained my thoughts, my hand and my mouth. Thanks to the captain, who could not read my thoughts, we made a perfect landing.Abe

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Nice one mate!!!! :) Must be thrilling to fly a real airplane by YOURSELF!Woot :)

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OTOH. One day I arrived at the FBO to see everyone gathered out front with big grins on their faces. They told me to stay and watch the fun. Soon enough, a C172 flew down final, cut power and flared at about 30 feet AGL. Almost instantly, full power came on and the airplane flew down the runway and climbed away. Seems it was a veteran B747 captain returning to his roots. He was getting checked out in the 172, but couldn't get the sight picture down and insisted on flaring the Cessna at the same place he would flare the Boeing. Took the poor guy a dozen tries before he got it. He took the subsequent ribbing with great good humor.

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Hehe, I can relate, albeit in the other direction. I occasionally fly big iron for a kick in FS9, and inevitably I plow them into the runway by not flaring when I should. I guess the view from the 172's 'pit' is too ingrained now. ;-)

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