Friday, June 15, 2012

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Today, I did it. I finally did it. After all this time - years, in fact.

I...

I...

washed the plane.


I should do that more often. She really does fly better when clean. And she looks... much better, but now she's just clean enough that I can see all the parts I didn't clean well enough standing out. As I've run my hands from prop bolts to tip of the rudder, I also have a much more comprehensive list of minor, nit-picking little maintenance items to do...

But now I'm sunburned, stinky, sticky with sweat and soap, and hotter than when I started. Washing the plane did not, in fact, cool me off.

Of course, the flight afterward was nice, breezy, and cool as soon as I got over a thousand feet up. I flew over the farm where we go some weekends, then worked my way down to the airport via some practice on standard rate turns, climbing turns, descending turns, S-turns, and turns around a point. While I could blame a beautiful sunny day filled with puffy cumulus and an airplane wing designed to convert every thermal into free lift, the reality is that the pilot is rusty and she knows it. There's nothing wrong in fun flights just goofing off, but there's something wrong when I can't meet my standards within the expected deviation. Just like in firearms, you don't rise to the occasion in flying - you fall back on your sloppiest level of practice. My landings have sunk to nothing to write home about, either - serviceable, safe, and ugly. Tomorrow I'll be back, weather permitting, and instead of blowing off stress and tension with an aimless sort of wandering in the sky, I'll be back to practicing.

That is, after I take care of a patch of flaking paint, a little rust, a couple spots that need oiling, a couple spots that need oil removed, and a few cracks in the dope that need a little fresh rejuvenator.

In the end, I started sweating heavily again as soon as the fan up front shut off, and it was dripping down my face by the time she was in the hangar. We also found quite a few bugs while we were up there... Ah, how quickly clean and cool do pass down here in the south!

3 comments:

Rev. Paul said...

Ah yes, the ol' HHH weather: hot, hazy & humid. Are you SURE you don't want to come back here where it's 58 & breezy?

Just askin' ... on account of we miss you. Of course, Hubby's welcome to come along, too. :)

danno said...

Heh.. we call that post wash flight "the dry cycle"! Kind of a reward for putting in the work.

;-)

Jenny said...

purty!

... no glaciers though in that down-below. Ya still got sandbars? :p