Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Night Flight--long overdue

Apologies for the death of postings lately, but work's been changing lately, giving me new hours and a lot more of them. It'll fund more toys and adventures down the road, so it's good, but right now, it's seriously crimping life, including blogging. It's just temporary though, i assure you.

And of course this damned weather has been unreal the past couple of months. Whenever I've had a free day off--and they've been few and far between due to those changes in my work schedule--the weather has been too windy or just outright stormy to let me fly. However I finally made it out to the airport last night in between passing storm cells and got off the ground a bit after dusk. I knew that more weather was coming, so I just stayed over the airport and shot approaches for an hour and a half, racking up a dozen night landings, alternating both left and right traffic.

The winds were roughly down the runway, but with the coming weather they varied enough in direction and intensity on each approach to make me pay attention and work a bit, and that was good. I flew until I started to see lightning to the north and northwest, indication that the next cell that my weather briefer had told me about was coming in.Then the lights of Hagerstown, MD to the north disappeared, swallowed up by low clouds on the approaching storm, so I landed long and made it a full stop right in front of the taxiway to my tie-down area and called it a night, leaving the lone tower operator to go back to his book or his Netflix or whatever he does up there when not forced to watch one little Cessna go round and round the airport in the dark.

But I needed this time up. After two months of no flying, I could see the rust. I had to actually scan for gauges and switches that I should have gone to instinctively and my first couple of approaches were a bit off the mark, a sure sign that I'd gotten out of practice. By shut-down though, all was smooth and feeling good again, and I felt refreshed in a way that only some flying can bring.

Happy.

Of note: The last C-5A Galaxy is gone for good from the Air Force side of the field. The 167th Airlift Wing is now totally C-17. I'll miss those big ramp queens.

6 comments:

  1. I've only done a few night flights.

    The one I'll always remember is when our electrical system took a dump on final to Meigs Field in Chicago.
    It was a good think we had an aircraft-band walkie-talkie with us, as the tower called us wondering what had happened!

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  2. I will be here when time allows for you to post

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  3. Glad you got a little proficiency hop in... :-) Those DO help!!! And it's the Zen thing, because one actually has to concentrate and think to do it right!

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  4. Would one of those full size posters/replicas of your panel help? I'm thinking it could be a bit like dry-fire, doing the mental/eye scan practice.

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    1. Nah. What I need is more flying. Can't be leaving the plane in the hangar for two months at a time. Heck, if I do that, I might as well just paint "WV AIR GUARD" on the side and call it a C-5.

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  5. A new N.E. flying destination for you:

    http://www.wmur.com/news/faa-approves-lake-winnipesaukee-ice-runway/31561048

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