Cross Country Solo Flight
Time (to date): 14 weeks
Money (to date): $3,240
Flight Hours Logged (to date): 24.4
I have now satisfied all of the flight requirements in becoming a Sport Pilot! Specifically, the 20 total flight hours, 5 solo hours, 10 take-offs and landings, and the 1 solo cross country flight. All that is left now is my checkride.
The solo cross country was a very pleasant 3 hour adventure from West Desert to Richfield, UT. In fact, it was a little too pleasant. Flight training so far has been nonstop, high intensity flying with a whole bunch of maneuvers keeping me on my toes. This was the first time I’ve been able to just cruise along for a while without having to do much. Complacency got the best of me, and I wound up screwing up in several ways when it came time to land in Richfield. I forgot to check the weather on AWOS while coming in, which meant my altimeter was off on approach. I flew the traffic pattern about 300 feet higher than I should have and was way too close to the runway on the downwind. Richfield is a 6,600 foot runway – I landed about 5,000 feet down the runway. I almost missed the longest runway I’ve ever landed on. The icing on the cake was that I didn’t get the plane aligned with the runway on touchdown, which caused quite the jerking sensation that I never hope to feel again.
Here is an illustration of my poor approach to help you visualize:
So considering how poorly it went, it went pretty well. I’ve practiced with Larry again since the solo cross country, working more on landings and practicing some of the maneuvers that will be on my checkride. I’m doing my best to make sure that getting a Sport Pilot License is not going to be a bad thing for public safety and society in general.
I’ll leave you with a video. This one features clips from my early morning preparations for the cross country solo and a touch-and-go into Nephi from the flight as well. I wasn’t recording during the Richfield landing unfortunately. I know you wanted to see that, but that’s too bad.