Saturday, January 2, 2016

First Flight of the New Year

What better way to break in the new year than with a flight? Unbelievably, it had been since August that I had flown with JJ to get instrument current and I decided no more slacking, it's time to get 'er done! The universe tried to delay me again, however, as I woke up with stuffed sinuses. But I would not let that stop me and head to the airport regardless of how I felt. I was excited, too, because the panel in the Cessna was updated to include a mounted Garmin 796 complete with ADSB weather and traffic. 

Once there, JJ and I caught up and I warned him I might not last as long as planned. We checked out
the new system and were cleared to taxi. A Cirrus was in the run up pad next to us and we were cleared to take off shortly after they were. The wind was at 12 knots gusting to 17 so I concentrated on bringing back all those skills I was supposed to never forget in training with wind corrections. 

My head was doing fine as we passed through 2,300 feet, however, over South Mountain the turbulence became quite choppy and I found that it did not please my sinuses. I told JJ I wanted to continue and get at least one approach in. So we continued on to Hagerstown to do the ILS. As we closed in on HGR I got a taste of the new equipment installed as "TRAFFIC!" was shouted out over the speakers. Another aircraft was ahead of us and heading in to HGR as well. 

After spotting the traffic and talking to control it was time to start getting down to business and follow the ILS in. It was bumpy and windy but I did well at first. A combination of being rusty and sick, I went from having perfectly crossed needles to being high and too far right as we hit decision height. I was lined up with the taxiway! Off went the foggles and I got lined up again for a surprisingly smooth landing with the gusty conditions. 

After landing, we taxied back so I could rest my brain for a bit then departed back to Frederick, sans foggles. JJ had me track various headings back to FDK then intercept the ILS and head on in. The one thing I always forget to do with approaches is the goal is to land at the end. I sped through the approach faster than desired so had to slow down the aircraft within the two mile final. I had an audience when I landed with 18 knots wind and was happy when I met the ground gently. One hour was logged, not enough to get me up to speed, but enough to make me happy.

Despite being rusty and under the weather in windy conditions, I wouldn't want to start the new year off any other way!


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