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recent flights

So okay, I pretty much took the summer off from flying. It was 100 degrees every day for like two months! What do you want, little planes aren't air-conditioned and since I'm not working on a rating, I decided not to sweat.

But when September hit I got to thinking about it again, and like all things I had to get over my laziness a little bit so it took a while, but I'm flying again.

I couldn't help but take one iPhone aerial photo, just to experiment. Here's Wichita:

Anyway I'm current again. I went up with an instructor, we did at least three landings, he said I was doing totally fine and barely needed him, except that I did need him because my flying club requires an annual check and I hadn't had one since my checkride last March. He said to go practice on my own if I really wanted to feel sure I hadn't forgotten anything, so I did this week... a clear Monday after work this week. The METAR said there were "few clouds at 2000 feet" so I was like, damn, but I walked outside the office door and didn't see a SINGLE cloud in the sky. Once I got up, there were some wispy ones in the distance, totally easy to stay far away from. It was a lovely night. I went to a little airport and did touch-and-goes for like an hour. I still have a nasty habit of coming in way too high on an initial pattern, something I had a problem with on my student pilot days.

There are these lights on runways that tell you if you're too high or low, they're in a row next to each other on the side and there are usually four of them. You want two red, two white. They're not that scientific, they're just angled so that if you're above them they're white, below them they're red, and they're at different angles because you want to be above some and below others and that means you're in the middle. If all four are white, that means you're too high. If all four are red, that means you're too low.

Driving into work this past year, I'd drive past the airport every day, and see the slope indicator lights looking at me, showing all red because I was in a car on the ground. It was a constant daily reminder... "you're too low". So seeing all four of them white on approach was bad, of course, but I was happy to see something be white. It means I'm in an airplane again, I'm a pilot again, it's a nice feeling. I want to go on adventures.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 13th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
That red/white light thing is pretty cool. I love how something can be done so nice and low-tech and work really well.
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC)
That bit with the different lights is pretty interesting... is it two of each so that if one gets damaged the other one still works?
Oct. 15th, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
If I recall right, there are two different kinds, one kind is the redundant type the other gives a range, with four red being way too low, three a little bit low, four white too high and three being a little too high, but both types want you to have two of each to be on the "glide path" for the smoothest touchdown.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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