After seven hours intensive training I am not sure how many landings I actually did today. I wrote 60 into my logbook for the last two flights. That’s crazy. There wasn’t much more to do in this weather today. Sometimes I had to avoid clouds at 500 feet (150m). I love playing with the clouds as long it’s not dangerous. =)
On the first flight it began to rain and precipitation induced fog startet to form within minutes. During one circuit, which is the circle you fly to land, the visibility suddenly dropped to minimums. Well I don’t know if it really was at the minimum (3 miles) but it was below my personal minimum for sure! We followed the Fraser River and did landings on different spots. I experienced gusty winds and rough water, calm winds and glassy water, boat waves and currents. Not to mention the obstacle landings and takeoffs with real cables and towers. It felt definately different and maybe a bit more scary than during initial training where you try to imagine a 50 feet tall tree on the runway threshold.
After the first flight I was terribly tired. It was hard to keep full concentration during 3.5 hours landings and takeoffs. I went to the airport coffee for lunch and when I came back I expected a one and a half hour flight. “Florian we’ll do seven hours today. You can sleep in tomorrow I have fishing patrol.” Uh-oh. Seven hours? Phew. Aaaaand up we went….
The weather looked better but the clouds were still hanging low. We were on the ramp and I started the engine. To get into the water you need some power for just a few seconds. In the water I pulled the throttle back to idle and the engine began to splutter. “That’s how fast you can pick up ice in your carberutor!”, said Tom and I was impressed, pulled carb heat, and the engine came back to life.
We departed eastbound and did some more landings. After one hour and fifty minutes I was already totally done. But I must admit it was great to do so many landings today. On landing no.20+ I finally earned the words “Nice Job” from Tom and I felt awesome. “Now I want to burn this landing attitude into your brain. Watterrudders up and go.” I heard that and realized the training just got started… two hours later I touched down at Pitt Meadows the last time for today.
Now it was time for some docking practice. As I came closer to the dock I slowed down (carb heat on, idle) and cut the engine. I steered parallel to the dock and hopped outside to tie the airplane down on a cleat. In this moment I felt my knees – oh my gosh they hurt so bad! During all the circuits I used the rudder extensively. Obviously I used muscles I never used before. haha 🙂
I am looking forward to the next twenty hours. It’s gonna be intensive and I like it. I am also looking forward to hear another “Nice Job” from Tom… but I have to work hard for that. And you know what? I understand now his answer when I asked him about bad habits of low time pilots as I am. He said: “Bad habits? Well normally they’re just horrible pilots!”, and he laughed. 🙂 Don’t argue, he’s right.