23 September 1982

Bad altitude

This was my first solo cross-country flight. My destination was a small airport in Indiana. I checked the airport elevation and entered the traffic pattern 800 feet above the ground. When I turned final approach, I noticed that the airport seemed awfully far beneath me. I pulled the power to idle and put down full flaps. The airplane glided until it finally landed 800 feet below the published airport elevation. If I had only checked the elevations of nearby airports, I would have known that the published elevation was in error. I do not think there are any significant hills or mountains in eastern Indiana.

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