Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunset over Santa Cruz

Sunset over Santa Cruz, CA
This is the only picture I got flying solo after the sun went down over Santa Cruz last Friday. It was a beautiful sunset and the lights of Santa Cruz and Watsonville sparkled in front of the Monterey Bay. The air was crystal clear from the winds earlier that day and week.  Wish you could have been there, my friends.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Good to be back

It felt like forever though it was only three weeks.. three weeks between my last flight and the one I did today. But it felt like forever... it did. It's strange what things stay in memory the longest. This last week I had two strong impressions of flying.. one was the sound of the plane engine going from 1000 RPM to full throttle on the take off roll. I know exactly what that sounds like, I can hear it in my mind right now. The other sound is my CFI's voice. I can hear the tone, not the words. 

In any case, I was finally able to get back up where I belong today. I went to South County airport about 16 NM away and flew in the pattern. My patterns had been suffering recently, especially my base to final turns. So I wanted to work on that. After countless hours and circuits of the pattern in my primary training I'm somewhat surprised I was actually excited about going to do pattern work again. I had fun. The winds made it more challenging than usual but I did OK. I made mistakes and fixed them, I improved on the areas I intended to focus on. I did four circuits in the pattern at South County, returned to Reid-Hillview, and landed happy.

As I taxied back to parking the sun's light was slanting across the runways and the planes started to take on the golden glow of sunset. I shut down the plane and pushed it back into its spot. I ran my fingers over the prop and smelled the hot metal of the engine. The winds seemed calmer now and the air was clear. I leaned against the plane for a while and smiled ... I felt more relaxed at that moment than I had in a very, very long time. It was very good to be back.