To Buffalo…

Sorry about this late post. šŸ˜€ Yesterday was probably the most beautiful day in quite some time. It was bright and sunny and the winds were calm. It was quite warm also. I arrived at school at 8.55 am and saw Jeremy was already chatting with the linesman Aaron. I checked in with Kevin and greeted everyone present. As Kevin was entering my information into the computer Jeremy said, “Tiger let’s go to my office and see what we’re going to do today”. On our way to the office Jeremy was saying that he had finished his finals and he looked visibly much relaxed and was smiling more than usual. “What are you studying?” I asked. “I’m a Business major with a minor in Aviation” he replied. He said he wasn’t completely finished but had a couple of subjects still left beforeĀ being entirely finished.

Jeremy then asked, “How did it go with Sarah?” I said “Fine. We just did landings”. “Ah okay. Since you spent an entire day practicing landings how about we practice some maneuvers today?” asked Jeremy. “Yes, that would be great” I replied. “And then we can perhaps go out to Buffalo and practice landings there. Would you want to do that?” I hadn’t been to Buffalo since I flew with Tim, so I immediately said “Yes I would like that”. He then asked me if I had any questions. I did. So I asked Jeremy that if would climb out at a speed of 65 knots (the best angle of climb speed) as Sarah had me do this due to it being warmer outside. Jeremy completely agreed and went on to explain that during warmer weather we need to climb out at a steeper angle to clear any obstacles. The plane takes a longer time to do that (due to the warm weather) at our usual speed of 79 knots, the best rate of climb speed. We went out to the plane and Jeremy said that it was a beautiful day for flying, and I agreed. Once we were in the air, Jeremy directed me to a heading of West which I immediately executed. “Have you been to a non Tower airport before?” he asked. “Yes I have been with Tim” I replied. “Okay so when we’re about 10 miles from the airport we check the ATIS and get the weather information so we can adjust the altimeter if we have to. Then we tune into the CTAFĀ (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency) and listen in and see if there are any other aircraft out there near the airport. Since this is a non Towered airport we don’t have help from the Air Traffic Control people and so pilots informĀ each other of their locations and intentions. So we listened in for a while and heard pilotsĀ announcing their intentions atĀ other airports such as Maple Lake, Maple among others. Then we heard some pilots that were near Buffalo. Jeremy said, “I’ll handle the radio and you do the flying”. Jeremy next informed the other pilots in the area ofĀ our positionĀ and our intention. We were about 10 miles west of Buffalo and were going to land on runway 36. When we had descended to about 2500 ft (at least 500 ft above the Air Traffic Pattern) we flew across the runway to get into position to make left traffic on to runway 36. The winds were calm so the landing went smoothly. We did one more landing which also went smoothly and it was time to return to Crystal.

As usual after a while, Jeremy asked me where I thought we were and how far out I thought we were from Crystal airport. I looked to my left and immediately saw the 10 mile lakes. The 10 mile lakes are 10 miles from Crystal airport and are usedĀ as a reference point by pilots. I pointed out the 10 mile lakes and said we were 10 miles NW of Crystal. “That’s correct” said Jeremy. “So what do we do next?” he asked. “Tune into the ATIS and get the weather report” I replied.Ā I tuned into it but found from the information that I didn’t need to adjust the altimeter. The winds were still calm. Then I announced my intention to Crystal, “Crystal Tower, Warrior Five Three Six Papa Uniform, 10 miles inbound from the North West”. I received a reply from Crystal Tower informing me to land on runway 32L. Jeremy then asked me how we would positionĀ ourselves to land on 32L, but as I was about to explain, we received another communication from Crystal Tower to land on Runway 14RĀ instead of 32L. This made things much easier because we were perfectly positioned to come straight in to land on to 14R. At the same time all this was going on I was also going through the Descent check list and had already begun gradually descending to land. This landing also went smoothly.

After we had disembarked, I said to Jeremy that the landings went pretty well today due to the calm winds I think. Yes I don’t know if you noticed but I was helping you a little. “No I didn’t notice that” I replied. That was pretty much the end of my lesson for Saturday. As I went home I reflected upon todayā€™s performance and was a little disappointed when Jeremy said he was helping me a little with my landings. Then I thought if he only had to help me a little then I’m still improving. That’s better than helping me a lot. šŸ˜€


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