A break in the weather. It is just so much easier when I don't have to fight with the frozen hangar doors.
My mission was to fly reconnaissance for a student ready for a solo cross country flight. It would be a good way to stretch my wings, double check all of Sally's systems and insure there really were no hazards with the proposed route. While not a Spring day, it was sunny, relatively mild with light winds. The route was a good one covering mostly familiar territory with a new airport added for the sense of adventure. One leg got close to the Philadelphia Class B, but there were numerous good landmarks to help keep clear of the controlled airspace. As I turned on final at KUKT I was satisfied with the planning and felt good about the student's next flight.
For some reason I've been landing a little right of center line lately. I occasionally go through periods when the center line is elusive and usually clear up the problem by taking a few circuits at 7N8. I'll have to do that once the snow gets cleared. This time it nearly cost me. I touched down right of center line and my right tire went flat. Fortunately it was very controllable and I was able to clear the runway and taxi ways without any difficulty. But it could have been a problem. Diligence.
Yesterday (Friday) I had the opportunity to take a solo cross country flight from KUKT to KMGJ. Just over 80 miles, I took the opportunity to check in with Allentown Departure to practice my radio skills. I was rusty. Just like any other skill, you must use it or lose it. When the time came, New York was too busy to take the Flight Following hand off. That seldom happens, but I switched frequencies and squawked VFR. I saw a flock of about twelve geese and one Piper Cub flying about 1000' beneath me.
My plan was to fly direct to STUFF FAF for runway 03 at Orange County and then straight in from there. No. The airport was just too busy so I broke it off early and maneuvered for the normal 45° entry. This time I landed a little left.
I enjoyed the day very much.
Video Notes: Two Landings
Unfortunately I had some technical problems with the cameras. I used a
remote to start the wing camera...it failed. When I reached back for my headset I must have pulled the audio cable on the cockpit
camera..so only the external microphone worked and it didn't pick up
very much. Finally, the GPS data is slightly out of sync with the video. I'll need to put a checklist together to keep these kinds of problems from recurring.