Thursday, August 21, 2008
Found some good grass.
Cross Country Prep
Well we are just motoring right along with our lessons. Today was the last "cross country prep" flight, and next week we start doing our full flight plans and cross country trips.
So, today I did some more hood work (instrument practice). Essentially, it was all about being able to navigate to VOR's and keep the airplane on a heading and altitude if I accidentally fly into a cloud. We also navigated to a grass landing strip (Winsted, MN) via an outbound VOR radial at FCM airport, which did actually get us to our destination. Then, to my surprise, my CFI says "we get to put your soft field take-off and landing to practical use". So we overflew the airport, looked at the windsock, turned around and entered the pattern. Jimmy made the CTAF calls (there isn't a tower so the calls are to alert traffic in the area of our intentions) and made a pattern for landing. Unfortunately, I was struggling a bit with the 90* crosswind (8 knots) and I muffed up the approach. We did a go around and I landed ok. It was really fun to land on a grass strip. The funny thing is, it's longer that the 18/36 runway at FCM and twice as wide!
I'm still working on soft-field takeoffs but on the real deal it made a lot more sense to me and I managed to do it just fine. We climbed up to 2500 and then Jimmy pulled the power. "You just lost your engine". I pitched for speed, picked a landing spot into the wind, and went through some emergency checklist procedures.
So, then we flew back to FCM using a VOR to navigate and after what Jimmy called an "atrocious" approach, I managed to grease the landing! Got to work on my approaches though...
Monday I have a 4 hour lesson where we plan out and fly to Willmar, MN. This will be my first actual cross country. These are exciting times!
Google Earth Track: Winsted