You’re close

“You’re close”. Those were the words my instructor said to me when I asked (for budgeting reasons) where I was in the process of getting signed off. I’ll get back to that in a bit. Let me recap the last couple of days.

I flew last night and I flew tonight.  Last nights flight was … how should I say … a challenge I overcame. The past two days were hot (100 degrees or more). The purpose of last nights flight was to demonstrate I could navigate, manage multiple radio frequency changes, deal with tower controlled airports, and manage flying within Class C airspace.  A week ago I knew that we would be doing a round robin of at least four airports and I had an idea of what those may be. However, I did not know the number of airports or the order in which to fly them until the day before.

Here’s the route:
PVF – Placerville
MHR – Mather
L36 – Rio Linda
LHM – Lincoln
AUN – Auburn
PVF – Placerville

The route is roughly an hour maybe a little more. I ended up putting 1.7 hours on the airplane. The landings were stop and go, or taxi backs.

It was a lot of work. More details another day. No normal flight would involve the amount of airports in the short span of time and distance. It was good to challenge myself and while I forgot some things and made some mistakes, the instructor gave me a good debrief. It was after this flight that I asked where I was in the training process. I mentioned to my instructor that I heard it may be between 10 and 15 hours to get current again. His response: “Oh it won’t be that long”. I didn’t know if he was saying it would be as much as 15 hours or could he possibly mean it wouldn’t be as many as 10 hours. After calculating that with the round robin flight I was at 6.5 hours I concluded that I would probably be at the 10 hour point. I was a little surprised that I was that close.

Highlights from the 6/21 flight:

  • The flight went better than expected.
  • Lesson learned, establish flight following early and tell them it will be a round robin and name the airports. It made the trip less stressful
  • My 12 year old son came along for the flight – and enjoyed it
  •  On the last landing at PVF, I had just started braking when a buck ran across the runway about 40 feet in front of me. I was slow enough that it wasn’t a factor. I had been cautioned about deer on the runway at PVF. The funny thing is, AWOS doesn’t mention the hazard yet the AWOS at AUN mentions deer on and around the runway.

Tonight’s’ flight (6/22)

We did about a half hour of work under the foggles. We did a few unusual attitude recovery’s. As well as I can quote on the ground the order in which you recover, I got the sequence wrong in the air. Thank you engineers for the forgiving Cessna 172. After taking off the foggles, the instructor asked me where I was. I got the general idea. I did not use the GPS. I wanted to know I good do things the old fashion way. In fact the VFR GPS in the airplane was inop two weeks ago. Once I established where I was, the instructor told me to land at Cameron Park (O61). I found it, landed, taxied back and returned to PVF. I forgot to get AWOS for PVF, my instructor simulated an engine failure at the left crosswind leg for 23 (or right base for 05). I didn’t lose altitude fast enough so we did a missed approach. Next time do some S turns and or forward slips.

At the end of this lesson my instruction had positive comments for me. Maybe I’ll get more detailed about the flight later. The bottom line: the instructor said next time we’ll do a trip to Sacramento Executive (SAC) and Sacramento International (SMF) and back to PVF and I’ll be done. I’ll be done with my BFR???!!!  That’s the plan. I’ll write about my post BFR thoughts and plans later. My BFR flight log has been updated to reflect these past two flights.

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