Saturday, June 04, 2005

Keeping sharp

It's rather important to be pretty sharp on various flying skills for a trip of this length. As a result, now that we're about a month away from departure date, I've resolved to try and fly as much as possible. That was part of the reason for the planned trip to the AOPA Open House.

But when I called for an outlook briefing yesterday, the report called for ceilings of 500 to 800 feet around here, and weather not much better in FDK. Plus, a chance of TS in the afternoon. Easy decision: call the co-pilot and scrub that mission. My personal minimum: 1000 foot ceiling.

As luck would have it, the actual weather was nowhere near that bad, though I've consoled myself with the fact that I slept in and therefore the weather must have been much worse at the planned departure time. Did go up and practice a couple of ILS approaches. Since I didn't have another pilot with me, I couldn't do them under the hood or log them for the sake of currency per FAR 61.57(c). But, I got to practice the procedures, and that helps.

The worst part was as I was on the downwind leg for landing, and was established #2 behind another 172, some jerk crossed over the top of the airport and joined the landing pattern in front of me. And made no radio calls. Now, I suppose that he could have been NORDO, but nevertheless, I thought it particularly bad form for him to pull such a stunt. My home base is a fairly busy airport full of students and low-time pilots, so adherence to standardized procedures is important. The comdrade-in-arms apparently didn't think those procedures applicable to him. Next time, I'm launching the AMRAMMs loaded on my wing pylons...

Also went out on Friday night for the $100 hamburger chicken wings, and logged a night landing on the way home. There was a low overcast moving in, but we were able to stay below it with plenty of obstacle clearance. I want to do a few more night landings to keep my night currency under FAR 61.57(b)(1), just in case. From all that I've read, I think that we will have plenty of light even in the early evening. But, it pays to be current, so current I will get.

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