Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Student Pilot Stories.

Since I'll be flying less frequently as a private pilot than I did as a student, I'll fill in some gaps with random experiences I had during my training, but didn't get included in the previous blogs (or wasn't described in detail.)

Close Call

After winter set in, the airport line crew would pull the plane out of the hangar and plug in the engine block heater and plug the air inlets with foam blocks. One time I preflighted the whole plane, and got to the part where I turn the key to start the engine. I actually put pressure on the key but at the last second, stopped. Something (I don't remember what) prompted me to think about the extension cord that was plugged into the engine block. I jumped out and sure enough, there was the cord. Had I started the engine, many bad things would have happened. I was fanatical about pulling that cord off before the preflight after that incident.

Silly Truck You Are Not An Airplane

I never blogged this flight due to the incredible amount of time I was spending studying for my checkride. Just prior to my Stage III check, I recieved an endorsement to fly to Glencoe airport to practice nontowered airport operations and short / soft field landings and takeoffs in a new environment. I got to the airport, circled, noted the windsock, and noticed a snowblower working along the side of the runway. He was clear of the runway, but I wasn't all that sure, so I kept my eye on him as I approached for landing. At 300 feet I noted that he was almost to the far end of the runway and was no factor to my landing. Just then a truck drives out onto the runway and hauls ass down to the other end. I shoved the throttle in and took the flaps out and got out of there. There was enough self-doubt to abort the landing. I checked the NOTAMs (Notices To Airmen) when I got back to Flying Cloud but there wasn't anything about Glencoe being closed. I found out that another CFI had gone there about 30 mins after I did and aborted his landing too, so I felt like I did the right thing.

More next week!

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