December 6th, 2009

planet

short flight and trek movie marathon

At work Friday my boss asked me if I'd planned to fly over the weekend, and at first I said no because I'd seen a forecast for too much wind an he was like, "really?" So I checked again and the forecast had changed a bunch. Since he's been so cool about letting me skip work to fly, I'd feel sort of bad telling him that on weekends I just like to sleep in. So I chased down an instructor and asked him about signing me off for a solo flight (they have to approve every flight).

So here's the deal: my flight school has a 15 knot wind limit on solo students. I woke up and winds were at 9 knots, forecast to stay that way until 11 am. I had a plane from 8:30-10:30. So the instructor wrote on my approval sheet that I had to monitor winds and turn back if they got past the limit. He wasn't scared, and I wasn't scared, the winds were STRAIGHT down the runway and I'm spitting distance from being a real pilot, but rules are rules.

It was SO FREAKING COLD. The airplane had frost on the wings which I'd never seen before, so I had him show me how to defrost it. You basically spray alcohol on the wings. Then I had to fuel the plane which takes time and is a pain. Then I had to run the engine a little longer to warm it up... it took two tries to start it up which was actually better than I thought. We have a rule that you have to pre-heat it below 20°F, and it was like 22 or something. I don't even know how to pre-heat. I've never asked to learn, because I do not like the idea of flying below 20°F. Anyway all this preflight and checks and stuff took nearly an hour, and by the time I taxied out winds were at 12 knots.

I took off, made my right turn, and departure comes on the radio and says "Winds 14 knots gusting to 21."

DAMN YOU SKY POWERS. I felt so totally cursed. I turned around.

One takeoff, one landing, 0.5 hours of flight time which in truth was probably mostly ground/taxi/runup time. I walked back inside and vented to everyone who could hear, at which point another pilot was like "So what plane did you have, that's all warmed up defrosted and full of fuel? I'm gonna change my reservation to that one!" At least I helped somebody. (We don't pay for fuel, we pay for flight hours which of course includes fuel costs but it's just what we use, not what we put into the airplane.)

At least I got to learn to defrost, and fuel up by myself which I've never done, and that 0.5 hours of solo time is a dent in the 1.7 hours I needed.

I came home and took a nap. Well & updated lj to talk about being pregnant to put myself in a better mood, thank you all for the nice comments :)

At night we had our star trek party! It was a BLAST, we had what I think was a perfect number of people show up, we did run out of seats but it wasn't awful. Friends brought lots of chips and dip, a projector, romulan ale, extra DVDs. We asked the apartment complex if we could borrow chairs from the lobby and they were down with that. Marc rearranged the whole apartment and we hung up an extra sheet of corrugated plastic that we had from guinea pig cage construction for the projector screen, and it worked GREAT. We watched Wrath of Khan, the new movie, then First Contact. I was busy working on food prep during Khan and kinda dozed off during First Contact but it was sweet geeky fun anyway. Dammit I love the new Star Trek movie. Oh and I wore my dress again, of course.

Someone gave us static for having a party on the night of the big 12 football championships or something, I have no idea when football is going on. I was just like "If you care about that stuff you're not nerdy cool enough for our awesome party."

So it was a good day, a long day. I talked to some pilot friends there who said they were looking forward to my "I'm a pilot" party which does sound like it'd be awesome, might have to do that next. It won't be nerdy at all, no.