Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Solo X-Country: CHECK!

I am so exited to update this blog! I have been knocking out my solo cross countries and night flight requirements. It has been so much fun accomplishing something I’ve wanted to do my whole life.

Solo Short Cross-Country

A “cross country flight” means you fly to an airport more than 50 miles away. My first cross country solo flight was from Ramona (KRNM) to Thermal (KTRM). I felt so exited the first time flying somewhere other than my home airport alone. I definitely see why this is part of the learning process. I mean of course I know how to fly, but being the sole-occupant and PIC is so incredibly exciting but terrifying in a way because it is my responsibility to fly and get myself safely on the ground with no help or coaching from my flight instructor dad.

Before a flight pilots become familiar with all the available information for that flight. We study airspace, airports, weather, terrain, etc. If something surprises us on the flight it usually means it is something we didn’t plan on. Usually its no big deal, but sometimes it can be an embarrassing or potentially dangerous mistake, that we must deal with immediately. However when things go as planned and everything is smooth and easy we call the flight, “uneventful”.

KTRM, Jacqueline Cochran Regional, a non-towered, somewhat busy airport with everything from small training aircraft to private jets. As a pilot flying to a non-towered airport you must be vigilant in looking for other traffic flying in and out of the airport because there is no air traffic control to assist with keeping aircraft separated. There are still published rules to follow, and though not required most pilots talk on the radio to broadcast their position and intentions helping others in the area see and avoid each other. About 8 miles out I announced my position and intentions, joined the traffic pattern, and landed smoothly behind a Challenger jet.

My first solo cross country flight was “uneventful”, which I am definitely okay with!