29R - Nothing but blue skies...

Solo #3

Weather: KBJC 152045Z VRB03KT 40SM SCT120 BKN200 14/M08 A3005

The feeling of flying with just me in the plane has yet to get old. Not even close. At certain moments during the flight I remember it's just me up there and get a quick swell of excitement. It is additionally satisfying to think for a second that you are the only one in the plane, have a brief moment of concern thinking that you don't have your instructor there to help you out, and then realize that you know what to do in most situations if something catches you by surprise. The feeling of (semi) self sufficiency is very satisfying.

I flew out of Metro this time since I was sneaking out of work in the afternoon to get a flight in, and BJC is only about 5 minutes from my work. The lack of sunlight these days makes it much more difficult to fly during the week. I was practicing maneuvers on this flight, so my plan was to practice some steep turns, power-off stalls and slow flight. I got up the practice area and started with some steep turns. Those went well for not having worked on them in a little bit and I don't think I busted PTS so that was good. PTS stands for Practical Test Standards and those standards are what you have to meet to pass the FAA check ride. My power off stalls left a bit to be desired. They weren't terrible and I think they were passing, but they weren't very crisp. Even though I wasn't planning on it, I did a power-on stall as well before working into some slow flight. My slow flight went really well getting into the dirty configuration and then I recovered well too.

I had about 20 extra minutes when I was done and had planned on landing at Boulder if I had a chance. So I headed back to BDU for one touch and go before going back to BJC. The pattern was quiet as I approached the airport, and after I made my first call I heard my instructor make a call that she was landing as well. She met me at BJC before I started my flight, but was returning a plane from maintenance and was flying back to BDU with the plane just as I was coming in. She landed right before I did which was slightly unfortunate because she got to watch me slightly bounce my landing as I came in for my touch and go. It was an otherwise good landing and I departed straight to the east and headed back to Metro. My landing at Metro was a bit better and of course it felt great to finish another solo flight.

When you are in the air, you know you can fly the plane, but no flight is complete without a successful landing. It's a great feeling to get the plane back on the ground in one piece so you can tell everyone about about your solo flight. It was then back to work to check my email and wrap up the day before heading home.

I have one night flight, and one more flight to practice my navigation before the first cross-country flight. I can't wait.



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