Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lesson 6: Playing Hookey & Early Morning Fog

Since we had to scrub our weekend flight, I decided to fly instead of working today. All in all a much better way to spend one's morning. Luckily I have a work situation that is quite flexible so I can take a few hours here and there.

I'd been watching the weather and Thu & Fri were forecast to be quite nice days for flying. I scheduled a 09:00 flight. Betsy had sent out warnings throughout the week to her students telling us to keep an eye on the dew point. Each morning this week there were small temp/dewpt spreads. This means fog potential. There were fog or mist reports throughout the region each day.

The report was for foggy weather overnight and clearing in the morning. I left the house with overcast skies at 08:30. By the time I got to the airport it was beginning to break up, as predicted. By lift off time, it was blue skies and perfect flying weather. It was really interesting to watch how rapidly that early morning fog lifts. Fog of course has significant impact on any flight operations. If we can't see the end of the runway we're not flying.

Had a lovely flight though. We did more fundamentals. I moved up from 20° to 30° banks. I mentioned that 30° felt less safe than a nice 20° turn. Betsy let me know that if I liked that one, wait til I had to do 45°. I'll need to know these for my practical test. She then offered to demonstrate a "steep turn" for me. She proceeded to perform a 45° bank to the left. That was, frankly, quite scary. The ground was straight down out my window. I could feel the g force pulling at my body and especially my face. And when it was over I was dizzy for a couple seconds. That's going to take some getting used to. But it was also kind of fun.

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