Sunday, May 29, 2005

 

Ground Lesson #6

This was really close to being the day for my first solo. Winds were calm, the forecast called for good weather (except for isolated showers), and the airport wasn't busy. Radar showed a line of storms approaching from the southeast, but it looked like they wouldn't arrive for a few hours. It looked like we would have time to do a few circuits in the pattern where I could demonstrate a power-off landing, a go-around, and a couple of good landings, and then the instructor would let me go on my own.

But first, I had to pass the school's written pre-solo exam. This was a series of questions covering emergency procedures, information specific to the local area (ATC frequencies, how to stay clear of the overlying Class B airspace, etc.), and regulations that applied to student pilots. I missed one question, related to light signals from the tower, but I passed.

I called for a weather briefing. The briefer said that thunderstorms were approaching, so a VFR flight would not be recommended, but if we were just going to be in the pattern, it would be safe to watch for the storms and terminate the flight before they arrived. At this point, it looked unlikely that I'd get to solo, but we decided we'd go out and see whether we could get a little pattern practice done.

When we got out on the ramp, the sky looked bad, and we felt cold gusts of wind. I knew we probably wouldn't fly, but I started a preflight inspection anyway just to have something to do while we monitored the progress of the weather. After finishing the preflight, we packed up and walked back to the school. No flying today.


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