Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I took another stab at the whole cross-country stage check. Much attention to detail was paid this time to checkpoints, landmarks, and VOR cross-references.
We launched at about 4:45pm, and the visibility was good, with the winds at around 10 knots. As I climbed out, I turned to my calculated heading and began a "cruise climb" to 4000 feet. Immediately I began to identify my checkpoints and adjust my heading as necessary. This time, I could tell I was ahead of the airplane. I had spent a good amount of time reviewing the route and picking out secondary checkpoints that I could use in case I got off course.
In this case, a major highway was my southern boundry, and I was able to keep referencing it to maintain my heading. Also, the towns along the highway were good markers to indicate my progress.
When we got about 1/3 of the way along my planned route, Rob said "ok let's divert to Winsted". Excellent! I looked at my chart: we were due south of Winsted so I wheeled the plane north and started my scan. Since we were only 7 miles south, and I'd landed at Winsted before, I easily found the airport. We flew over, got the wind direction from the wind sock, and entered the pattern for landing. The landing was actually pretty good, but it's easy at Winsted, with it's luxurious 150' x 3000' foot grass runway.
At this point I relaxed a little, because from here I knew I could throw away the chart and easily make it back to Flying Cloud airport. We made a straight-in approach and I didn't screw up the landing too bad.
Rob said I did a good job and he thought I was ready for the solo cross country flights that are next on the agenda.
Google Earth Track: Stage Check II - Take 2
Logshare: Online Logbook