Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

first landing on a grass strip

I got an instructor and went flying this morning. First time since October! I figure "the season" is starting, I don't want to be all sad and stuck on the ground on warm calm spring days when the sky is clear.

The flight itself wasn't fabulous. I felt like my brain was underwater or something, which I kinda knew would happen, that's why I had an instructor. But seriously every time I went to grab for a knob I had to think about it, even simple stuff like setting the altimeter. And I made a few stupid mistakes, like when departure said "you're on your own altitude & navigation" I said okay thanks and switched frequencies. They have to give you permission to stop listening to them altogether! So, yup.

We flew down to Wellington and did some touch-and-gos and at one point he asked me if I'd ever been to Beaumont. We'd been talking about fun places to go, since I'd told him I sometimes wasn't sure where flying should fit into my life now with the baby. He said there were all kinds of fun adventures the three of us could go on, places to eat, people to see, day trips... keep flying! I'm easily convinced. Beaumont is nestled behind this giant wind farm that's just amazing and I'd love to fly over there, but he mentioned that it's a grass field and I said that made me nervous, I'd never landed on grass. Well let's go, he says! Not to Beaumont, but, to a little grass strip he knew about, private & off the charts but we've got mutual friends who live on it who he'd talked to before about taking students there sometimes.

So I got to land on grass! After we found the airport, which was almost impossible. Airport spotting is enough of a challenge, a grass strip makes it ten times harder. My instructor had been here before so he knew to look for these three hangars, if it wasn't for that I'm not sure I would have found it.

The first touchdown was weird. Grass itself is not that different to land on, what I really notice was the lack of big white painted markings on the runway. I didn't know what to look at. I couldn't focus on the end of the runway because it wasn't all that clear where the end was, the ground color just kinda changed a tiny bit. Totally threw me off and I had no idea when to flair.

But the second one was better. I think if I ever land at an unfamiliar grass runway a simple go-around will be all I need now, just to get a feel for where the boundaries are.

Everything about this flight would have been safe if I was by myself, but not elegant. I might go practice by myself, maybe do another instructional flight before I really take Marc & Jo up on our first family adventure.
Tags: flying
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