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Guest jbinner

My Real life flight training cont... I got schooled :(

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So yesterday I booked 3 hours with my instructor, and for the first hour we went into the classroom and went over my presolo exam. I did pretty well, and alot of it is common sense, but the FAA can be tricky at times. For instance, one of the questions is something like "Is striking another aircraft with rocks and debris during run-up considered reckless operation of an aircraft?". No, it's not a trick question. On the other hand, a question that seems obvious like "You contact a class C controller and ask permission to enter, and he tells you to standby. Are you allowed to enter?". And the answer is actually, yes, as LONG AS HE CALLS YOUR TAIL NUMBER. Weird, but OK. So we corrected everything, and I got my pre-solo sign off. We did a bunch of landings, and per my request went and flew to some nearby, but smaller airports so I could test myself and see if I would be able to put it down on a 1900 foot runway, or if the 5600x150 runway spoiled me and covered up otherwise large accuracy problems. Much to my relief, I greased the landing my first time down, even with a little crosswind. On those smaller runways you can't do a real touch and go (well, safely anyway) so we had to taxi and takeoff again. I was pleasantly suprised to see a local Cherokee come in high, float, and touch down a little ackwardly. At least I wasn't the one the old timers in the FBO were probably commenting about. So we went back, did a few more, and ended with an engine out on the downwind. That was EXTREMELY FUN. Had to ask for a short approach since it wasn't a real emergency. Then you basically point toward the runway, and constantly adjust your approach so you will hit the numbers, and only put in flaps when you are 100% positive you will reach the runway. I managed to hit right on the numbers and never cheated with the throttle at all. In fact, I was holding the flap handle since it feels ackward to have your right hand empty. I have never really needed to fly with two hands, I'm a big guy and certainly in this plane I have no problem with one hand in normal flight. Steep turns are a different story. So we get back in the FBO and he says "Well if tomorrow is nice, I think I'll solo you". Sweet! and Oh crap! Really? That soon?So last night it so happened that the FBO was having a Christmas party at a local restaurant so since my wife is out of town, my brother said he'd go with me. Turned out to be a really good time, and met alot of interesting people. One fairly young guy who owned a Glasair said to call him anytime to go flying. Will definately take him up on the that :) Another young couple that were both Yale students. He was taking lessons. I have a thing for redheads (my wife) and I have to say his girlfriend was stunning. They actually us invited back to her sorority to play drinking games. I figured that could lead to nothing good, so we declined. Either way, we didn't get out of the restaurant until 1 am, and I knew my 8am lesson was approaching rather quickly. Too make matters worse, I had told my in-laws to stay in my bed, and I would take the couch. So I had just about the worst nights non-sleep of my entire life. I woke up a tiny bit hung over, but my back was killing me, and I was really tired. I jumped in the shower, and I figured it would probably not be a good idea for me to solo in the this condition, but at least we could do some other stuff. Well I got to the airport, and the weather had completely changed from the forecast. It was sunny and clear, about 10sm- but the wind was kicking and biting about 15 knots from the west. I was a little relieved I didn't have to back out of my solo and feel like I let myself down. It's not that I COULDN'T solo because of my condition- but I want to really cherish the moment, and I'd like to be 100% doing it- not feeling under the weather.The nice part was the plane was serviced the previous night, and was still in the hanger. The heated, gigantic hanger with floors you could eat off of. So I grabbed the clipboard and went to preflight it in the hangar. With no coat. Nice. Preflight was a great. I really went over it with a comb since the usual freezing wind was safely locked outside. Unfortunately, the line men and the mechanics were in no hurry to get us in the air. They couldn't start the tow vehicle, and it was about 45 minutes later until the plane was outside. On the bright side, while waiting I got to check out the planes of some very lucky people. I brand new Citation Excel was in the corner. There was an Aerostar that was really nice, and a Bell Helicopter. Must be nice to be able to afford some of those aircraft. Make that ANY aircraft.So after that fiasco, and another 15 minutes to get the fuel truck over and fill us up, we are ready to go. I asked if we could fly to some more airports and practice landing. Particularly Chester (KSNC?) which is NOTORIOUS for nasty crosswinds. Today seemed like a good day. So we get there and the ASOS notifies us the wind is 10-15 out of 260. Ok- so do we use 35 or 17? I mean what are the odds of a perfect crosswind? I guess I see what they are talking about. I decide to try 35 for whatever reason. The end of 35 is up on a well, cliff, so there are some nasty up/down drafts too. As we get down to pattern alt the air turns from bumpy to down right boiling. The plane was getting pitched all over. I managed to get lined up on base, and I turn final, only to find the wind pushing me way to the right. I was high, right, and bouncing everywhere. I decided to go around, after getting established back in a climb, I made the call that I just wasn't feeling 100% today, and that was too much for me today. There was nothing fun about it, and I just didn't feel mentally prepared enough. Chester is not an airport you can afford to screw up. So we headed back to New Haven and decided to try some crosswinds there. I was plenty familiar with it, so figured I'd be much more able to concentrate on the wind corrections since the pattern was second nature. I asked for runway 32 which gave us a good 60 degree crosswind component. The tower kept advising me of this. I don't think he understood we WANTED the crosswind. So this time I managed to get it right. Nice turn to base and we crabbed down to about 400 feet when I kicked it out and dipped the wing. Hat pretty much full right rudder in. At that point I was having flashbacks of 'cross-control spin' lectures so I came in about 5 knots faster, and only two notches of flaps. Put it down nicely, and I decided to skip the touch and go, and make it a full stop. I had some mental debriefing to do, and I felt today flying could take second seat.I just couldn't figure out why I had messed up the first approach into Chester so badly, and then I realized it- I should have picked runway 17, for the simple reason that would put my base for a left-hand pattern INTO the wind and give me much more time to setup and adjust. And it would require a smaller turn to final. Stupid! I wished I had thought of that in the air. Oh well, I will know next time. So with that figured out, I felt like I had accomplished something, and at least it gave me some satisfaction.So now I am trying to find the best day (hopefully this week) to solo. So close!!!!!

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Very cool to hear more progress has been made. You sure are taking quite a bit of lessons. There are a lot of people who can only do a few lesson consecutively before they run out of money or patients of a solo. Oh and remember 8 hours bottle to throttle and under a .04 BAC to be legal.

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The gotcha with 91.17 is (a)(2)..."While under the influence of alcohol". The FAA has every right to say you are under the influence if you are still acting goofy after finishing your last drink 10 hours ago and only having a BAC of .02.

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It definately made me realize there is more to it than just the 'legal' aspect. Forget flying drunk, just being tired will really reduce your effectiveness. I forgot to run through the after takeoff checklist. Imagine it was something more important? I think that if you drink alchol, that at some point in your training you should definately try flying tired after a night of drinking (with your instructor of course!). It will make you realize what a no-no it is. I would certainly never even consider doing that solo or with passengers now that I've seen how it affects your physiology and flight performance.

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The university I go to made koozies for all the aviation students with FAR 91.17 printed on it. Since then I've never forgotten that rule.;)

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>It definately made me realize there is more to it than just>the 'legal' aspect. Forget flying drunk, just being tired>will really reduce your effectiveness. I can't even *sim* fly very well when I'm tired. I can't imagine trying the real thang when I'm tired...RhettAMD 3700+ (@2530 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8, WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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wait a second, FAA for pilots is 8 hours and when I was ATC it was 12?!?!?!!?!? Something aint fair here..... ;)

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