Today I launched on the big adventure, my "Desert SouthWest Tour" or DSWT. The morning started off a bit rough. I slept poorly last night, most likely because my mind was racing try to make sure I had everything ready to go. I got up early, got my briefing, updated my flight plan and dragged my husband down to the flight club so my car wouldn't have to sit there all week. He smartly took advantage of the opportunity to go fly as well.
Launching on the Adventure
|Me & N20791 - ready to take off|
on the big adventure.
|Flying "IFR" over the Sierras|
|A last bit of snow|
A Lot of Bouncing
|Into the Desert|
I found the airport, announced my intentions and bounced my way into the pattern. I got to pattern altitude at the right point and speed and started the landing process abeam the numbers. Everything was going fine, I thought, until I was on final. Then I became aware my airspeed seemed too slow, the ground speed was fine, the airspeed was slow. Of course, this was the result of the high altitude (density altitude at this airport was 6000'). I flew everything right, didn't even overshoot final, but I let my instinctive judegment of airspeed based on how fast the ground was moving, overtake watching the ASI. Thus I was slower than I should be. I kept trying to adjust and feeling very strange about the approach. I rounded out too high and bounced the plane twice. I decided it was better to turn this into a touch and go rather than attempt to save that landing. Fortunately I had the mixture set for best power (not full rich) as I should and was able to do a successful touch and go. I left the airport area feeling a bit downtrodden. I want earn a commercial pilot certificate and I bounce a landing!? I have to do better than that. There's no excuse.
|Ready for take off - Battle Mountain|
|Battle Mountain Airport|
I taxied over to the FBO and shut down at 12:38PM. Very tired but very pleased that I finished the flight and was able to adjust to the high altitudes. I didn't overshoot the center line once turning final :) I will have to keep improving, however. Tomorrow's flight will put me in the pattern (!) at 8400 feet to land at Bryce Canyon which is 7,600 feet high. I will be leaving my hotel at 5:45 in the morning and hope to be in the air by 6:30 and get to Bryce before the heat does.
Ups and DownsSome may wonder why I talk about when I fly what I consider to be poorly just as often as when I fly very well. Actually I haven't written about every good landing here... let me tell you about the landing I did at Auburn last weekend.. it was awesome, strong crosswind and I had ailerons at full deflection and landed great right on the center line! ... OK, back to the topic. I'm not exactly sure why, but I know one reason is so other people who may be new to flying know, there are good days and bad days. Everyone has both, but it is always possible to make a bad day into a good day if you make the right correction after a mistake. The other may be to mark my own progress. These bad landing days are getting fewer and further between for me.
|N20791 in Elko Airport. We did it.|