Apr 27 2008

Lesson of Many New Firsts

Category: LessonsDaniel @ 8:07 am

The wind was nuts on Saturday morning. When I woke up for my lesson, I was hearing the wind howling around my house and rattling the siding a ton. As such, I figured we may scrub the flight, but after txt’ing my CFI, his response was “My grandma flies in wind worse than this, and she flies a cub!” Once I saw that, I knew it would be a fun and exciting day.

Open arriving to Westosha, I checked the weather reports and saw we had winds 20 knots gusting to 30. If I was flying solo, I doubt I would have flown in such winds, but my CFI said it would be great practice. The takeoff was quite easy as the wind was mostly straight ahead. Control Tower at KenoshaWe flew over to Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW) which this was my first towered airport experience. It was a little intimidating with the fast-talking controller over the radios and I needed my CFI to “translate” and repeat almost everything he said slowly…but I managed. After approaching, we were “clear for the option on Runway 24.” I repeated back the orders and proceeded to make one of my best landings to date. We did a stop-and-go and went around a handful of times, practicing many different variations of landings: flaps, no-flaps, simulated engine failure, too high, too low. Overall, I was VERY satisfied with the quality of all my landings, and my CFI concurred. I was stoked.

Then, my CFI called the tower again and requested if we could go up and visit. We spend about 20 minutes up in the control tower, which was also a first for me. It was pretty slow that day (because of the wind) so there wasn’t much action up there, but it was neat to see how they work and the tools the controllers have at hand.

On the way back to Westosha, my CFI yanked out the throttle and said “we have engine failure, where you gonna’ land the plane?” I was surprised but calmly looked around and saw we had plenty of good farm fields to land on for this simulated off-field landing (another first for me). I picked a field and proceed to glide to base and to final. We were descending and I thought after I was lined up, he’d say “good job” and we’d be done. But we kept descending to (what seemed like) only 200 feet above ground before putting back the power and climbing away. I was seriously thinking we were actually going to land on this farm field! After that, we finished back to Westosha where I somehow managed to land in an absolutely crazy crosswind.

All in all, an incredibly fun and challenging lesson. I logged 1.7 hours of flight time.

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One Response to “Lesson of Many New Firsts”

  1. Todd says:

    Sounds like an excellent lesson. I am surprised at how many pilots have never been in a control tower. I think it is helpful to see what the controllers are dealing with.

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