Thursday, March 09, 2006

First Solo at Whiteman

Well, today was the first time I soloed here at Whiteman Airport. I felt comfortable while doing some landings with my instructor, and so he jumped out so that I could do some myself. I’ve done this before, so it was not big deal. Unfortunately, my first approach I made a mistake. The tower told me to follow another Cessna on final near the 405 Freeway making a right-base to runway 12 (that is what initially threw me off because normal pattern is left-base). But I couldn’t see him, and instead of asking tower to call my base, I, for some reason, turned my base only to see the aircraft on a long final. Whoops. So tower was a little upset and asked if I saw the traffic. I let him go in front of me, but I was too close behind him to land safely, so the tower had me do “S” turns to final. But I was coming up to the runway too quickly and so I requested to enter crosswind again for runway 12. I felt dumb, but I guess we learn from our mistakes. I hope I didn’t aggravate the tower controller too much.

Then on a takeoff, tower instructed me to expedite my takeoff due to a plane on short final, so I started to go, when I realized my window was still open, so while rolling down the runway I had to close it. I don’t know if tower noticed, but he had me make a sooner crosswind, so it was OK.

Then while taxiing, I came up to a Mooney that was coming off the runway, and tower instructed me to give way to him. But I couldn’t understand, and I heard the other plane say he was giving way to me (what I thought). But I asked tower to repeat, and he just told me to stop. He sounded frustrated, but it wasn’t too big of a deal.

I just hate silly mistakes like that when I’m by myself. But I guess I learned a lot compared if I were with my instructor. I’m good to solo for another 90 days though. I’m comfortable to fly myself, but I feel uneasy for some reason. I hope that mental part goes away. I’m at 35 hours today.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Long Time Flying

So I finally was able to go up and fly today. It was surprisingly familiar to me. I was a bit nervous taxiing out, but by the time we lifted off, I felt right at home. We took off on runway 12, which faces the 4 stacks that separate Whiteman Airport and Burbank Airport airspaces. One must make their crosswind turn before these stacks or they'll end up in Burbank airspace. Another cool point was that our base leg is right over the 118 freeway. My instructor and I noticed a traffic accident on the 210 North. Cars were backed up all the way on the 118 for those wanted to take the 210 North. It was cool to see these traffic jams and I'm sure very few people get this view on a common occurrence in LA county. My landings were OK, not perfect. I couldn't maintain my 65 knot descent speed to landing, but something I'll probably fix next time. I had to work on using knots instead of miles-per-hour like the plane I flew previously, also the flap switch, which wasn't too difficult. These are some of the communication procedures I have to get used to being at a controlled airport:

Taxi and takeoff procedures:

125.0: ME: "Whiteman Ground, Cessna 4936D at Vista ready to taxi."

GROUND: "36D (winds and altimeter setting), taxi to and hold runway 12."

ME: "Taxi to and hold runway 12, 36D."

135.0 ME: "Whiteman Tower, Cessna 36D holding short runway 12 departing left closed traffic."

TOWER: "36D cleared for takeoff, left closed traffic approved."

ME: "Cleared for takeoff, 36D"

Landing procedures:

ME: "Whiteman Tower, 36D left downwind abeam."

TOWER: "36D cleared to land"

ME: "Cleared to land, 36D."

Taxiing after landing procedures:

Returning to departure:

ME: "Whiteman Tower, 36D taxiing back to runway 12."

TOWER: "36D taxi back runway 12."

Returning home:

ME: "Whiteman Tower, 36D taxiing to Vista, good night."

TOWER: "36D good night."

I also need to remember to "clean the airplane" after taxiing beyond the hold short line (flaps up, carburetor heat cool, transponder on standby). It was great to be back up there!!

Here's the cockpit:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Vista Air

I finally was able to take a trip down to Pacoima and get things ready for me to start training at Vista Air at Whiteman Airport. My new instructor is Robert. We're going to get me back up so that I can get back into flying again, since I haven't for more than a month. We'll do a cross country to KSBA (Santa Barbara) and that's where I'll probably fly for my first solo cross country. I'm excited to get back into the air. The plane that I'll be flying is a 1979 C172. The plane I flew at KPRB is a 1973 C172. The differences include: airspeed indicator in knots instead of MPH, flap extension switch is notched at each degree of flap. So instead of having to hold down the switch until the needle points to 10 degrees, I can just switch it to 10 degrees and not have to wait until it gets there. These differences will make my flying experience a little less stressful, especially when I'm solo. I can't wait to get used to being up there. Here's a picture of the plane:

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

New Home

This is a picture of our new dining room table from IKEA in our new apartment. We really like it.

We've moved to Santa Clarita, California finally and we've been enjoying it. The only downside is that I haven't been able to fly, for what it seems like a year. I was going to go up for a weekend to do some more flying, but it's not working out. So, I've decided to change flight schools and go to one closer to where I live. I hope that the whole thing works out. Mel's been working, which she really loves, and I'm happy for her. Other than that, it's been fun hanging out throughout Los Angeles County.