30 August 2006

Mike's first big trip

August 22-30, 2006

Posted/Written By MIKE.

A friend of mine asked me to fly her down to Oklahoma City for the week. This happened to be the biggest 'real' trip I have ever made. That is the first trip that wasn't with Bruce in the plane and had a purpose other than just flying and racking up experience time, it happened to be over the longest distance as well. The main thing I learned from this trip is that no real cross country flight can be successfully completed in a reasonable time with out an IFR rating.

I also learned that when dealing with ATC it is both wise and prudent to keep a pen in your hand! I kept dropping mine and had to ask for repeat clearances on more than one occasion. oops.

In the middle of the week I flew to Texas to pick up my cousins and fly them back home. It was a two hour each way trip. The plane should hold 6 hours worth of gas. About 1/2 back (that is the return trip) I saw the fuel indicator reading less than 7 gallons a side. I had only flown 3 hours thus far. That meant that at the current rate of consumption I would not make it to my destination. So I stopped at a controlled field to take on some additional fuel. The FBO was closed but I was able to find some one who worked there to fill the plane. I have yet to discover why the plane consumed more fuel than I had anticipated, but it was never again an issue. I was much more careful about fuel the next time I flew.

After the OKC trip I flew to another friends house about an hour north of my home base. Real IFR to minimums all the way. Took off after getting a release clearance from ATC with 200 foot ceilings and tops well above 6000 so I was content to fly at 4000 and make the GPS approach breaking out right at the decision height. WOW! My first REAL REAL IFR experience and it was solo!

It's safe to say that if I didn't before, I now have the flying bug! I simply can't wait to fly again.

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