June 6, 2004

What's Better Than a Cross Country? Two Cross-Countries!

navlog.jpgThis weekend I spent an hour or two planning my first flight that would count toward cross-country training. Luckily, it is not as tasking as it sounds. In order for a flight to be counted as a cross-country flight, the pilot must plan a trip to an airport farther than 50nm one way. I selected to fly to Fleming-Mason Airport (KFGX) just north of Fleminsburg, KY.

I first drew the route on my Cincinnati Sectional and then selected visual checkpoints along the way. Checkpoints included Clermont Airport, an amphitheater at East Fork State Park, power lines near the city of Bethel, the riverside city of Augusta, KY and then the destination airport. I used my flight computer to calculate the time enroute, the necessary heading and wind correction necessary to stay on course from Blue Ash to Fleming-Mason.

The flight was smooth, we hit all the checkpoints until the final one. The airport itself was a little illusive but after slowing down and looking around we located it and made the approach. Fleming-Mason is a single-strip small airport. I had to make too go-arounds because each time on approach I found myself tow high. However, the third time was the charm and we made a nice landing then climbed back to cruising altitude for the trip home.

On the way back, my instructor informed me she felt I was ready to fly this same route on my own and suggested that when we returned to Blue Ash that I fuel up and do just that. I think I was more nervous about this than my solo. She made a good point, however, that I had just flown the route successfully without much assistance from her there was no reason I could not do it again.

So I fueled up and took to the skies. My CFI was right - I knew what to expect having flown the route once before and I flew it slightly better this time. Like my first solo experience I found myself being more vigilant knowing she was not their to correct my errors. This time I made a single approach and landing at Fleming-Mason, and took back to the air, recalculating my headings for the return flight.

It was a great feeling when I could see my home airport of Blue Ash off the front of the cowling. I was returning around 8pm and the field was quiet so I had no traffic to negotiate and quickly made my way through the pattern and touched down safely. It was a neat feeling to know that today I not only properly prepared a cross-country flight but I also flew it once with assistance from my CFI then once on my own.

I will be flying again on Tuesday.

Posted by at June 6, 2004 11:33 PM

Nice job Todd! I remember how great a feeling it was to finally take the airplane from A to B solo for the first time.

I look forward to following along with your progress.

Keep up the great work on the blog!


- Cb

Posted by: CAPblog at June 8, 2004 12:13 AM | Reply

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