Friday, May 27, 2011

Signed off

Today we did wheel landings at Palmer, which is a pretty reliable airport for crosswind. The wind was amusingly light, given we'd come just for that - but the windsock at the head of 16 didn't agree with the windsock at the tail end of 16. Combined with the bluff on downwind to base that fools a pilot into coming in high, and the inevitable burbles over the river and the treeline, it was a good thing that I had 6000 feet of runway available. Not that I used it all, but that I didn't feel much pressure or panic to either monkey with my landings or go around. So we worked on wheel landings, and when a wheel landing has gone too far wrong to be pulled off - but can still be converted into a 3-point landing.

In the middle of this practice, we stopped in at the FSS, and met the guy on duty. (They have flush toilets instead of running into the woods! The utter plush civilization of it all!) We tsill have local FAA employees at the Flight Service Stations in Alaska, and unlike the outsourced version in the lower 48, no matter what the patchy automated weather information may indicate, you can take the FSS briefer's weather predictions to the bank.

After we got back, my CFI signed my logbook with all due endorsements as safe to take off and fly this thing alone, anywhere and everywhere I want. I still scheduled another lesson with him, tomorrow at 1300, to polish the last few rough edges - I'm not happy with my wheel landings yet, and want a little more crosswind practice.

No pictures today - busy flying. Maybe tomorrow?

So I celebrated by scarfing down the last of the blueberries and yesterday's donuts, like any good airport scavenger, and then pitching in on power-washing the ramp. I've wanted to do that since the first time I knelt in the accumulated dirt and sand blown in from around the city - I may not be able to pull-start the motor, but I can run the hose for a while.

One of my favorite gunnies in the whole wide world stopped by, freshly retired and with the few day's worth of beard growth and ear-to-ear grin to prove it. Our planes were long-term projects together. It's awesome for us both to see each other's birds as finally flying, and congratulate each other. My big old brick of a radio, which I uninstalled months ago, will now find a new and happy home being used in his plane, making everyone happy in the deal. Yay!


  1. Sounds like an AWESOME day!

    (hi to favorite gunnie. :) )

  2. Hi Jenny!!

    I am looking forward with glee (no, not the TV show) and gloom, to escorting my favorite long term hanger mate, to the border. Peter is a lucky guy!