Saturday, January 9, 2016

An Update on My Training - Flying to Miami

     I hate to admit it, but it has been close to two years since my last post. Since then, I have not only passed by Private Pilot Knowledge Test but have also been signed off for my Check Ride. College applications, graduating high school, and beginning my first year at the University of Dayton has proved to be both exciting and immensely busy. This has really made it hard to find time to get back home to fly and prepare for my Check Ride. However, I have really made an effort to fly while Christmas Break.

     Over the past few weeks, between spending time with friends and family, I have found time to get back into flying. I received another solo checkout which is good for 90 days, and I have begun preparation for the the Check Ride.

     My most recent flight took place on Thursday, January 7th with Joe in the N2814L, a C172H. After arriving at the airport at 8:45am on a very frosty 25F morning, I had to preheat the aircraft in order for it to start. I got the Cub Cadet out of the hangar, and attached its propane blower in the engine cowling in order to warm it up a bit. After talking to Joe inside the airport for a bit, we went outside to start it. The battery seemed to struggle in the cold, but eventually the prop turned over and roared to life. We taxied over to fuel ramp to fill up and planned out a route to Miami University Airport(KOXD) that would keep us clear of the Cincinnati Class B Airspace. The air was incredibly smooth and this flight was relatively uneventful. However, the campus was beautiful and the fun started on the way back. 

     After climbing to 5,500ft for the flight back east, we were about 10-12 miles from Middletown Regional Airport/Hook Field(KMWO). Once I was nice and relaxed, Joe pulled out the throttle and said, "Whoops, your engine failed!". I quickly began the checklist: Fuel-Both, Mixture-Rich, Carb Heat-On, Mags-Both, Primer-Locked...but where should we land? I told Joe we couldn't make Middletown and although he appreciated the safe decision to land elsewhere, he asked me to try to land there and remember the sight picture I had when the engine "quit". I did not believe we could make it, so I was quite surprised to find myself very high when on a base leg for runway 5. I put in flaps and switched to the grass runway 08 and finally made a safe landing. I couldn't believe the C172 could glide so easily, so this proved to be very productive.

     We then taxied over to runway 23 and departed back to Red Stewart Airfield. Enroute, I performed a number of required maneuvers for the Check Ride like stalls, departure stalls, and steep turns. I then did a soft field landing and taxied back. At this point, I am required to do one more hour of dual time with Joe before taking the Check Ride. After that and a solo practice flight, I should be all set to get my license!