Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More Night Flying

With completely clear skies and a full moon, it was an opportune time to log some more night flying time, and more takeoffs and landings at a towered airport, in pursuit of the commercial rating. Grabbed the 396 and installed it, but really, it wasn't going to be needed. Just wanted to try using it while flying solo. Quickly realized that the 396 isn't going to be particularly useful on the co-pilot's yoke while flying solo. We'll have to explore alternatives for that.

Went to MFD and did 3 touch 'n goes there. Pretty quiet in the area, and unlike last time MS and I visited there, they had the lights on. (During our last night visit there, they had half of the lights off to allow the C-130's to perform their night-vision work.)

From there, it was back to CAK for another 3 touch 'n goes. Right base to runway for the first one. Right traffic back to runway 19 for another. Then, instead of right traffic again, tower instructed to make left traffic for runway 23. On downwind, spotted the inbound traffic for 23. Just as I was about to query whether I should extend downwind and take the number 2 position, tower instructed the Caravan to slow and allow me to make my touch 'n go.

Realized that I still need to work on night landings, as I consistenly made them too shallow and didn't flare enough. Almost all 6 of the landings were a bit firm.

Departed VFR back to the Home Base, and actually made a pretty smooth landing there. Go figure, it's got the least amount of vertical guidance (a non-standard sort-of VASI thing that I can never quite remember how to interpret).

Total time, 1.4 hours. That totals 2.5 hours night solo (half of the required 5), plus 9 out of the 10 towered-field landings.

Hopefully, the weather will hold for the rest of the week, and another flight can be squeezed in and that will complete the 10 landings!

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