Last night at 8.06 pm (03/16/2012) I received a text message from my instructor Tim if I could fly at 3.00 pm with Jeremy instead of the scheduled time of 8.00 am with him. Here’s how our text conversation went:
Tim: Are you able to fly at 3.00pm tomorrow, by chance?
Tiger: Sure Tim. Did you get a chance to look at the email? (This was a link I sent to Tim via email regarding FAQ’s on landings).
Tim: Not yet, but I will. I have to go to Willmar tomorrow to take a police test. So do you mind flying with Jeremy again?
Tiger: No not at all Tim. I can fly with Jeremy. But will it be for 2 hours?
Tim: Yep, full two hours this time. Sorry I have been really busy lately.
Tiger: Hey no problem Tim, I understand. So it’s from 3-5 with Jeremy…
Tim: You got it!
Tiger: Thanks Tim. Good luck on your test!
Since my flight lesson was scheduled for 3.00 pm, I went to meet a friend of mine whose name is Jerry. I know Jerry from work we both used to work at the same company and now we meet about once a month to catch up on the latest news in each other’s lives. We met at 10.30 am at our usual haunt Caribou coffee. Here we discussed among a number of things, my flying classes, both ground and practical. “What’s happening with your IFR ground school classes, you don’t write about those on your blog”, said Jerry. “Yes, it’s a little difficult to do that because I’m not actually flying IFR yet, and I wrote about my VFR ground school classes because I’m flying VFR and I could put the two together for a better understanding”, I replied. Anyway, to cut a long story short, we came around to discussing that I may not fly today because it was so windy, and Jerry agreed saying, “You won’t fly today”. I then told him the frustration I was having about my landings and that I wait for a week for weather like this and cancelled classes. It’s happened once too often for my liking.” It was then that Jerry mentioned, “Well can’t you fly during the week, you can can’t you?” and I agreed that I could but my current instructor could only teach on the weekends as he has job during the week. Tim is becoming busier now that he’s going to study Law Enforcement and hence today’s class with Jeremy. Jerry suggested that I should perhaps change instructors, especially since I had praised Jeremy and his teaching style. I wasn’t complaining about Tim, since each instructor has his/her own style of teaching and although I was quite satisfied with Tim, he was getting busier and I desired to fly more frequently. We concluded our monthly meet up at around 12.15 pm or so and I went to eat lunch and Jerry went to do whatever he had to do.
After lunch, I reached Thunderbird Aviation at around 2.45 pm and as I stepped out of the car on a bright but blustery day, I saw Kevin coming in to work. “I think Jeremy will probably cancel class today Kevin, it’s quite windy down here so it must be gusting up in the air”, I said. Tim agreed and said, “Jeremy should be back at 3.00 pm from his flight, see what he says”. “Yes, I think he’ll probably cancel class as I checked the aviation weather website and the forecast was gusts up to 23 knots around 3.00 pm”, I said. Kevin checked the site for himself and said, “Yes, it’s 23 knots right now”. As I waited for Jeremy to arrive, Kevin and I chatted and I also purchased a Jeppesen book on, “Private Pilot Maneuvers”. Jeremy arrived and as he walked through the door he said, “You’re not flying today. It’s very windy up there and two of my students decided to prematurely end their lessons.” “Yes I assumed that that’s what was going to happen. Kevin and I were just discussing that”. Just then the student that Jeremy was flying with arrived and Jeremy said I’ll be with you in a moment Tiger; I just have to speak with Justin. “No problem” I said and he and Justin went to Jeremy’s office.
Upon his return, Jeremy said, “Tiger, other than flying what did you want to do? You have a choice, we can go over anything you don’t understand, or you can go home”. “Well I really wanted to fly, but I think I’ll go home”, I replied. “Good, that means I get to go home and I’m really tired today”, said Jeremy. “Do you teach during the week Jeremy?”, I asked. “Yes I do. Did you want to have more lessons on my schedule?” he asked. I said yes and then Jeremy said, “Well let’s go and see my schedule and see if you can fly at those times”. We went on the computer in Jeremy’s office and he showed me that there were three students who were almost done i.e. they will be taking their final check rides. We discussed how we could proceed and Jeremy said, “You will have to speak with Alex Haak who is the head administrator here if you want to change instructors. But before you do that you might want to speak with Tim also”. We then discussed the last class Jeremy and I had together and he proceeded to tell me how it was very important to get the Air Traffic Pattern correct to get the landings right. I then said to Jeremy, “I believe I have that down, but it’s the very last stage that I’m having trouble with. If we come in at a higher speed then I can land it i.e. when the power is not cut off to idle.” “Ah! Well that may be okay to learn how to land but according to the FAA the power must be cut off to idle before landing”, he said and continued, “I’ll speak with Tim and let’s go from there”, and that’s how my class ended today.
Tomorrow I have my class at 8.00 am with Tim, and it’s forecasted to be windy again. I hope it’s not windy in the morning though, but let’s see.