My Lonely Flight

I was getting within a week of my currency, so had to go up to do some landings. I usually go up with my friend Jeff, who's usually about at the end of his currency, too. So we reservd a plane for 7:00 one fine Tuesday morning.

I wanted to get there a little early so I could preflight the plane and be ready to take off at 7:00, so we could maximize our time and still get to work at a decent hour. I didn't, I got there a couple of minutes before 7:00, but I still beat Jeff. So I went out and pre-flighted the plane, got it all ready (it takes me maybe 10 minutes), and waited.

Then I waited some more.

At a quarter after, I called Jeff at home (he didn't have a cell phone then), hoping I wouldn't wake anyone up, and got his answering machine. I figured that meant he was on his way, so I left a short message and waited some more.

And some more. I was starting to think I should just do some landings, then when he got there, he could have the plane and do some. But I gave him a few more minutes.

Then at 7:30, I decided I had to get the show on the road. I called him at home again, and left a message saying I was going to fly and would watch for him, and got in and started getting settled in the plane.

Then my phone rang. A very sleepy Jeff was apologizing for not being there. I don't know if he forgot or just didn't wake up, but I was ok with it, it meant I could go fly without worrying about him showing up. :-) So that's what I did.

All I did was touch and goes at Rancho Murieta. I didn't fly to Franklin because I didn't want to take the time, I wanted to get to work before 9:30. But it was an interesting flight, anyway. It was a plane I'd never been in before, so that was interesting. It was a little older, meaning the interior was a tad shabby, but ok. It idled a little rough, but not bad enough to be a big deal. And it might have just been how that engine runs. When I kicked the power to it, though, it screamed!

I did my first takeoff, and the plane lept into the air. It didn't want to not fly! This is cool. A plane that moves is a good thing. So it moved right up to pattern altitude faster than I am used to. It motered around and back in line for my first landing higher and faster than I wanted, too. I'd done a lot of work on landings in my last flight, so I was watching speed and altitude, but still would up high and fast enough to land in the middle of the runway instead of on the end. So I did it again. And had the same result.

I only had to do three landings, but I wasn't happy with those, and since Jeff wasn't there, I had plenty of time to try it again. I was blaming the long landings on the obviously souped up engine, not on me, so I really watched power closely the next landing, and did a much, much better job. I did two more after that, and both were pretty good. I didn't hit the numbers, but I did fairly well.

So I'm current again, and we're talking about flying down to Bakersfield again in August (2004). If we do, then there'll be yet another boring story!

(By the way, we did fly down to Bakersfield again in August. Boring Story 19)

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