Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Thank you, Tom Petty.  Truer words were never spoken, especially when it's been over 3 weeks between flights.

34Q is still at the avionics shop in Henderson, getting all fancied up with a G430 & some other goodies (I know a new engine was expected at some point, possibly a new interior, but the most I've heard confirmed during this downtime is the Garmin gear so far).  IF I get to fly next Tuesday, it will have been 4 weeks since I've been in the cockpit.  That ties the longest stretch between flights since I started lessons back in May.

I've been spending lots of time in FSX, doing lots of pattern work in the Carenado C172N and the A2A Accusim C172R Trainer just to keep up on the basics, but there's just no comparison to the real thing.  I think I've said it before, but I'll repeat, flying the real plane is so much easier.

I keep reminding myself it could be worse, and that it will all come together.  Patience is something I've learned a lot about in recent years.  But now, I have that same feeling I get when I'm going somewhere with someone, we're on a tight schedule, and I'm waiting on them because they're running behind, and we're running out of time.

2VU clear of the active

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Old Shall Be Made New

Er, replaced with new that is.

A few weeks back I learned that when 34Q was down for her next 100-hour, she'd be getting a new engine and new avionics.  That time has come - my instructor texted me this morning with the 'unfortunate' news.  Unfortunate, because this means I won't be flying next week.  At all.  And, although I'm discouraged about the fact that this will mean another three week stretch between flying, I'm excited to see her with the new hardware and hear the roar of the new engine.

Honestly, the weather early next week isn't looking that great anyway.  Mid-70s during the day and 40s and 50s for the lows.  This is setting up the perfect conditions for an unstable atmosphere, and the forecast shows it.  Rain and storms for the next five days, with an 80% chance of T-storms Monday (when I was scheduled to fly),  I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and I've found a surprising patience in all of the delays and lesson cancellations throughout the summer.  Timing is everything, and it does seem everything is setting up to fall into place at the perfect time.  Until then, I'll continue with ground school studies and practicing with FSX and X-Plane.

Two Victor Uniform, clear of the active.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I wasn't SAFE

Yep.  It's true.  This time I cancelled my lesson based on my own self-check.  I'd been fighting a stomach bug all day, and it wasn't getting better.  Two hours before my lesson, I texted my instructor and cancelled.  I hated to do it, but at the same time, if I had gone ahead, I really don't think it would have been a productive flight.

Beside my illness, at the time I cancelled, there was about a 13 kt left front quartering crosswind down runway 27.  I've flown in those conditions once before, and I really wasn't up to doing it again this evening.  13 kts is toward the upper limit of the Skyhawk's abilities, and the upper limits of my nerves.  On a good day.

I started to beat myself up today for cancelling, but quickly reigned that thinking in and snapped back at myself that I'd made the right choice, and besides, that was yesterday and can't be changed.  This is today.

Next lesson is scheduled for Monday of next week, which is a deviation from my usual Tuesday.  My daughter loves The Veggietales, and they're coming to town Tuesday evening, so I'm taking her.  Seeing her laugh and smile as she enjoys the music is about the only thing on Earth that trumps flying for me.  Flying is in my soul, but she has my heart, hands down.

Two Victor Uniform, clear of the active