Lessons have been cancelled for about a week due to high winds in the area. We had a few tornado warnings… yuck.
That did not spoil my day today! My family and I are going on vacation for a week and I really wanted to get a solo flight in before we departed. The weather cooperated and I put together my flight plan for a Round Robin trip from KTTA -> KSOP. Not quite a cross country trip, as a cross country trip is defined as a flight to another airport with a distance greater than 50nm. The trip from KTTA to KSOP even via the SDZ VOR is only about 43 nm. It’s baby steps leading up to my real cross country solos and I happen to be taking these trips solo in the order in which I took them with my instructor.
I arrive at the airfield and go over my flight plan with my instructor. Everything checks out and I get her advice on using the engine preheater. It is around 36F outside so not cold cold but still chilly. She advised that I try to give it a shot and if it doesn’t start right away, grab the heater. As I was preflighting, I listened to two other students having a hard time starting their planes, so… I grabbed the heater. I think it helped because I had no issues starting my ride.
As I perform my run up, for some reason everyone is in the pattern landing with a 6 kt tailwind. Even when there was a pretty decent break in traffic, the next incoming aircraft still landed with a tailwind. This led the two planes in front of me to take off on said runway. I’m still new to the pilot game but this was annoying.
I takeoff and get setup on course with no troubles. As I climb I tried to radio Fayetteville approach on 125.17. No response. I try again. No response. I then hear another try with out getting a response. I am just a lowly student and not really prepped in this area. I decide to try the southern Fayetteville approach frequency 127.8 to see if I can talk to them. If not, then I am turning around because I have radio issues or something. I called up approach on 127.8 and got a response, so I requested a flight following. Once I was in the system, I hear another pilot say, “Do you guys know that something seems wrong with 125.17?” Approach answers that they were unaware. I was asked by approach to do a radio check on 125.17 and get back to them. I complied and after trying a few times I returned to 127.8 and told them negative results.
The rest of the flight to and from SOP was pretty uneventful. The flight back was quite bumpy. I wasn’t able to take pictures as I planned. I did get off a few but not any good ones.
Returning to TTA, I call for an advisory. There was one plane that had landed, none in the pattern. Awesome, let’s land on the right runway! As I was getting ready to make my 5 mile radio call, I hear a freaking Cirrus taking off on the runway with a tailwind again. WTF!!! Windsock, AWOS, Common freaking sense!!!! aghh! Then I hear two other approaching aircraft chime in that they will be landing on said runway. I mean, the AWOS clearly indicates around 5-7kts of tailwind on that runway.
I don’t like landing with a tailwind, I tend to float and that is exactly what I did today. Great trip, crappy landing. At least I got this trip in before my vacation. I had a lot of fun and felt like a pilot. Next, my instructor advised me to plan a real cross country to KRCZ and also try to get some time scheduled for a night cross country to KVUJ. Sounds like fun, can’t wait!
Watch my flight on CloudAhoy -> Clicky Clicky!