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on doing everything right on the numbers and did a pretty good job of
it too. My takeoff roll was good, airspeeds good, lineups good. But
because of the fog, I was taking a bit longer looking for traffic at
the crosswind turn to downwind. That put me farther away from the runway
than I should have been on downwind and Randall pointed it out. So I
edged back in and showed him that I was able to do it right the next
time. My landings werent too bad with him in there. We did three
and I only screwed up a bit on the last one with the approach a bit
too high and I cut the power a bit farther than usual from the end of
the runway. I made it down with no problem and he didnt say anything
to me or Karen so I have to assume he didnt have any concerns.
She tuned in the Foothills VOR and we tried to track it, but for some reason kept losing the signal until finally we lost it completely. So we tuned in the Rome VOR and tracked it instead. The directional gyro was in need of repair also so we had to us the whiskey compass mostly.
After a bit of VOR tracking, she took the plane and had me fold my hands and look at my feet while she put us in unusual attitudes. Then she gave the plane back to me with the mission of putting us straight and level as soon as I could. It didnt seem to be much of a problem as long as I focused on the attitude indicator first, then the vertical speed indicator. We did this a couple of times, then a little slowflight, constant altitude turns, all done with the foggles blocking my view of the world outside, then she vectored me back to the active runway at Cherokee with instructions to descend to pattern altitude. Just as I was a half mile from the runway threshold, she had me lift the foggles and land. From that point on it was VFR and soft field and short field landing practice, neither of which were anything to brag about.
off from runway 4 and kept climbing through pattern altitude to 3,500.
I set the radios to ask Atlanta Center for flight following and rehearsed
what to say to them. Then everything seemed to be happening at once.
I was on the radio and trying to maintain heading and altitude, watch
for my first checkpoint, write down the time, listen to Karen, answer
Atlanta Center and tune the transponder correctly. I kept it under control,
but it sure seemed like a lot to remember and do all at once.
radio call to get any available info on the active runway and a traffic advisory but
no one answered. After a minute or two, another plane called that he
was going to taxi to runway 2, so we headed for that downwind leg. By
the time we called base and final, he was climbing above us and out
of the pattern. I landed a bit faster than I liked but everything was
fairly normal. It was just a bit odd looking down at a completely new and different
airport in front of me. After we landed and went into the FBO, I canceled
my flight plan and filed a return plan.
We called in to Unicom and after maneuvering to avoid a bit of traffic, landed back on runway 4. Driving home, I remembered that I hadnt closed my flight plan for the return trip, so I pulled over and used my cell phone. Unfortunately, I was cut off in the middle of the call and couldnt be sure that it had been done. So I called at Jim and Netties house when I picked up April.
We took off from runway 22 and using the GPS turned toward McCollum, about 25 miles to the SW. I rehearsed what the tower would say and what I would need to say and do and what to expect overall. We called the tower about 10 miles out and he cleared us for a right base entry into the pattern for runway 27. I was hoping for 27 since it has a left hand pattern. Runway 9 is right traffic and I wasn't sure I'd be comforatble with that.
No one else was in the pattern or even moving on the ground yet, so I had plenty of room in the air and not much to watch for. But as we approached the end of the runway 27, I saw that there was an enormous mining operation going on right next to the airport, with an huge hole nearly wide enough and deep enough to fly the pattern in. Just a bit distracting...
We did a couple of full stop circuits for familiarization and to get the hang of understanding the controllers thick Southern accent, and then taxied off the runway to the FBO to let Karen out so I could solo. She headed up to the tower to watch as I flew and be available in case I needed assistance.
I radioed the tower for permission to taxi and then it was back to the end of Runway 27. Hold short of the runway, check the instruments and gauges and radio the tower that Im ready for departure. He cleared me for takeoff, so I rolled out onto the centerline and pushed in full power. Up into the pattern with no problem and halfway through the downwind the tower radioed that I was cleared for landing. And so it went for two more laps.
With no wind to speak of, each of the landings were a breeze. Only on the last one did I wobble a bit to line up better with the centerline, but the touchdown was still real smooth. Then a quick taxi back to the tower to pick up Karen and the return hop to Cherokee.
I wasnt doing too bad, but just after we passed over the station and the needle reversed on us, Karen quickly took the plane and had me lift my foggles while she quickly dove to the right about 500. She told me that a jet was aimed right for us at our altitude in the opposite direction. I turned to look for it but never saw it since it had already disappeared in the haze. Since he was headed east, he should have been at an odd altitude +500 but apparently wasnt. We thought he might be descending through our altitude for a landing somewhere, but couldnt be sure where he was headed.
After a bit of level flight to settle down a bit and look for more traffic that might be following the jet, I lowered the foggles again and she turned me towards Cartersville airport. She vectored me into and around the pattern with instructions like left 10 degrees, stop. left to 360 degrees, stop until I was lined up with the runway and about a half mile out, then said lift the hood and land. I did a touch and go on a very long runway lined with jets parked on the left side, none of them our recent close companion in the sky apparently. We came back around to do one more, then the foggles went back down and she had me track the reverse course from the Rome VOR and talked me through to the final approach at Cherokee for a full stop landing.
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