August 18, 2007

Flying Around the Pattern

palwaukee_map.gifI headed out to Chicagoland Executive Airport early this morning to get a flight in before heading back to the city for the 49th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show. It was a nice cool morning with a threat of storms, but after a call to the Flight Service Station I was confident I could get in a flight before storms would arrive.

I spent the entire day in the pattern working on my towered field radio calls and more importantly my landings. During the day I worked on a variety of different scenarios including simulated turf takeoffs and short field takeoffs and landings. A few months back I had been disappointed with my landings but as of late I am feeling like I am back in a groove. As any instructor will tell you it is really about the preparation. As long as I fly a nice stable approach it makes greasing a nice landing so much easier.

It was a very enjoyable flight and I enjoyed sharing the patter with a variety of aircraft including jets and prop planes. All in all I fit in seven takeoffs and landings and logged another 1.7 hours today. I will next get a chance to go flying next Saturday afternoon. Although, flying would have been enough to fill my aviation addict today I also enjoyed taking in the 49th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show which was amazing despite periodic rain. I will write more on the Air Show after tomorrow´┐Żs show.

Posted by at August 18, 2007 9:45 PM

Seems like you had a really good time! There are few things that beat the feeling of greasing a good landing. :) ...and yeah, you are right, preparation really is everything when it comes to making good landings! If you fly a nice stabilized final approach with the correct airspeed and you are able to keep a stable glide path that leads you to your intended point of landing, you have pretty much already completed the hardest part. If you get that part right the actual landing does become a lot easier. :)

If you want to try something new and really exciting, even if you never intend to get an Instrument Rating, I would recommend that, on a really cloudy day, you go up with an instructor and do an IFR flight inside the clouds...just for the fun of it! I remember the very first time I got to fly in the clouds. On the first flying lesson on my Instrument Rating (which was supposed to be done in VFR conditions) we got surprised by dense clouds moving in and we had to request a local IFR clearance to get back into the airport. As we were heading for the clouds, I begged my instructor to let me have the controls. He let me continue to fly the airplane, and so, for the first time I steered an airplane straight into the clouds until the outside world disappeared completely! That was a real kick and by far the most awesome aviation experience I have had so far! That exact moment where you hit a cloud and the world as we know it disappears is a real rush! :) ...and besides being a lot of fun it is also an extremely valuable experience. If you ever inadvertently get stuck in the clouds, there is nothing like having been there before! :)

Anyways, reading about your flying experiences in your blog is a real joy! I took the liberty of adding a link to your blog on my website
Hope that is all right with you.

Happy landings!

Posted by: Axel at August 19, 2007 10:35 AM