July 5, 2006

Flying with Dad

Door County, Wisconsin I celebrated the Fourth of July holiday in Door County, Wisconsin. Whenever I am in Door County I try to take in a flight as it is an absolutely beautiful place to fly. The local Fixed Based Operator that I rent from is Orion Flight Service. A friendly operation based at the Cherryland Airport in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Since it had been more than six months since I flew with them last I needed to take a brief written exam and then fly a check-ride with a CFI. Adam, the CFI, and I met and reviewed the written test then headed out to the airplane. Cherryland has two nice runways. The one running parallel to Sturgeon Bay is the one I have used in the past. The winds were situated such that no matter what runway I chose I was going to have a little bit of a crosswind.

I chose to take off from the runway that runs perpendicular to the bay since I had not flown that pattern before. It is the smaller of the two runways, although is still plenty long and wide at 3,200 feet x 75 feet. This runway lacks a taxiway so I back taxied to the end of the runway.

The flight review went smoothly. I enjoyed talking with Adam about his flight experiences during the flight. He has experience in tail draggers and in float planes which was fun to hear about. He also would love to go to Alaska to be a bush pilot, I can�t blame him for that.

After the check-out ride I had a special opportunity � My father was waiting on the tarmac for his first flight with me. Not sure how nearly two years have passed without me getting a chance to take him flying but it was a fun experience, although short. The check ride had run long so we only had time for about a 30 minute flight. We flew up and down the lake side of the Door County Peninsula and I let him fly for a bit. He seemed to do fine with that. Then we headed back. Unfortunately, I made one of the my worst landing in my two years of flying.

Due to the crosswind I flew the approach a little faster than normal which caused us to balloon a little on the landing flair but since we had plenty of runway left I flew it in ground effect for a couple of seconds to bleed of some speed then let it set itself back on the ground wind side wheel first. But, my foot must have been a little high on the rudder and pressing the break cause when the wheel came down the plane wanted to pivot on that wheel and had I not corrected it I think the plane would have wanted to swerve off to the side of the runway. Not the landing I had envisioned for my first flight with my Dad but I am sure there will be more to impress him with my landing abilities.

Until then maybe I will log some hours working on crosswind landings.

Posted by at July 5, 2006 6:59 PM