Lesson 61
21 May
1.2 Hours

The second lesson for today.  This one began as a night cross-country to Newport News.  Unfortunately, about one-third of the way there, we ran into a big thunderstorm--saw it ahead, that is, with big bolts of yellow lightning--and turned back.  That was Adam's idea.  I probably would have gone right on, but no doubt would have regretted it.  Later, a TV weather guy said that the storm had produced 90 mile an hour winds--right at Newport News, right at the time we would have arrived there.

Heading back to the airport, I got headed right, figuring in the wind speed and direction, and I soon could see the lights of I-95.  But I couldn't pick out the airport itself.  Kept flying, looking for familiar territory.  Saw the strobes on the towers northwest of the field, but still not the field.  Just as I was thinking of clicking the talk switch to get the runway lights on, I heard Adam doing it.  But I still didn't see the lights.

Finally, he said, "You're doing a really good job of flying to the airport."

Well, he uses understatement like that all the time, so I figured he meant something more by it.  Took a quick look to the left--and of course there it was, about a mile away.  If he hadn't said anything, I'd have gone right by, still looking far ahead, seeing nothing.

Did five landings, which just about takes care of the night landing requirement.  I think it's almost easier to land at night than in the daytime.  Certainly, there are fewer distractions--fewer things to look at, anyway.  And the view is so interesting.  We saw a big house fire flare up on one circuit, but it was out by the next one.
We'll try the cross country again on Tuesday--even though the forecast is for thunderstorms again.  There was enough time on this evening's flight for me to test the little "flying" flashlight I made.  Worked fine--good thing, too, because the article about it is already accepted.

Back to "Learning Flying"
My home page.