Saturday, November 13, 2021

Waiting your turn

I've been preparing a student for his first solo flight. After a few weather delays, it looked like it was to happen on this flight. All of the weather prognosticators said it would be perfect. We did the preflight, pulled her out of the hangar facing south, and performed the checklists. There was a gray spot of clouds on the horizon. All other sectors were clear blue and calm.

We continued. All systems were "go" and we departed to the west. The gray spot grew. It showed up on our satellite weather screen as a green blob but I still didn't consider it a factor. 

We continued. The first landing wasn't his best.  Maybe nerves so I told him to try another. Meanwhile, I looked south. The gray was darker now and the weather screen showed some yellow in it. The next landing was much better. As we taxied back he asked for my thoughts. I hesitated for just an instant then told him to take us home. As he made his way I looked to the south and saw the showers moving in. It was a good call.

He made a nice landing at our home field (slightly left of centerline) and easily got off at the first taxiway. Then he reported steering problems. We had a flat tire! I'm so glad that didn't happen on his first solo.

Yesterday I went out to exercise Sally. I had hoped to fly to Deland for their Sport Aviation Showcase, but the weather didn't cooperate. So instead I stayed in the pattern at KVDF and practiced my landings. There were about three of us evenly spaced just drilling holes in the sky. It felt pretty good. I was just happy to get out and fly for a little while. Maybe we can do Deland next year.

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