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.