Well I have my solo student pilot wings, so I decided to use them. The wind was 8 knots today, and holding so when I got to the school my instructor, Jimmy, told me "I checked the weather and it looks good for you to fly to the practice area yourself."
I think he's eager for me to get solo hours and to be honest, so am I. I ran out quick and checked the fuel amount, ran the weight and balance, and got the tanks filled up. There is so much extra room with just one person in the plane, getting all my stuff organized is much less stressful. So I preflighted, taxied, and took off. For the first time, I departed the pattern by myself and flew into the Great Unknown.
Well it's actually pretty well known so I farted around in the practice area with some s-turns, turns about a point, and rectangular turns. No stalls by myself yet - that's madness. Madness I say!
So, on my approach back to the airport, I report that I'm 7 miles inbound from the southwest. The tower says "call when you're 2 miles" - pretty standard. Then he calls back and says "953, I've got traffic at your 11 o'clock at 1900 feet". I couldn't see him no matter how hard I tried and told the tower. I wasn't worried because I was at 2500 feet.
"953 I have traffic closing on you at 9-10 o'clock at 2500 feet." What?!?! Again I looked but couldn't see the traffic. I was getting a little nervous at this point and then the controller said "953 traffic is not a factor, cleared to land 28R."
I made my pattern and came into 28R WAY too high. I had the throttle to idle and I was just floated merrily 100 feet above the runway, and I shoved in the throttle and said "Tower, 953, go around." Made a right crosswind, hit all my numbers, and made my best landing so far. Go arounds are easy and only really add about 2 minutes to your flight. So instead of salvaging an ugly landing, you have the option of making a good solid one.
Next flight is next week, and we'll be learning all about soft field landings and short takeoffs and landings.
Google Earth Track: Solo Practice
Online Logbook: Logshare