Last time, I flubbed the flight plan due to a miscommunication between my instructor and I. She wanted me to plan direct but I didn’t get the memo and planned it through a VOR that happened to be out. No worries, still stoked for a cross-country flight!
This time, I have everything planned, checked over and signed off. So we prep to fly direct from TTA to EXX. As I was walking out to the plane I chatted with one of the other instructors who said it was beautiful up there, smooth as glass. We would learn that it was smooth no longer.
As we departed TTA and turned on course, I felt a little bit of overload. We didn’t think we could trust the DG (Squawk said so), so I was bouncing all around, trying to fly by the magnetic compass and at the same time open up my flight plan and dialing up Raleigh approach for a flight following. I flubbed the frequency at first by calling Fayetteville approach thinking it was Raleigh approach… ugh. Need to make sure that my frequencies are correct.
. After flying in the wrong direction for a few minutes after my goof, I got us back on course.
The bumps smoothed out as we reached our cruising altitude of 4500. Didn’t last long as we were handed off to Greensboro approach and was immediately directed to descend to 4000. 500 feet was a huge difference because we bounced around the rest of the flight to Lexington.
As I approached the halfway point, I had the Greensboro VOR dialed in because I knew that I should be on the 162 radial dead smack over the city of Asheboro. My instructor pulled out her portable GPS and I felt good since I was right on the magenta line. She seemed quite pleased.
I checked off the way points and setup for the approach at Davidson Co airport. Pretty uneventful landing. We taxi’d back and after flubbing the takeoff call (Saying Moore Co instead of Davidson Co.), we were back in the air.
Made the flight following radio call and feeling good about how I am managing the radio. The rest of the way back was quite bumpy and tiring. We chatted about our upcoming vacations. It was nice. Would have been nicer if it was smooth but you can’t have everything that you want.
When we got back to TTA it was pretty crazy. Several inbound aircraft from different directions, a plane in the pattern, and a guy who stayed on the radio ranting about hearing someone say right traffic when the pattern was left traffic. I mean, it wasn’t busy enough?
Made a pretty uneventful but ballooned landing due to giving a little power to stop sinking toward the end of the approach.
As we taxi’d back, my instructor commented on how I did. She said I did really well with the planning and execution of the flight plan. Only pointing out my initial flub to approach that got me off course at the beginning. She then commented on how she noticed that even with all of the turbulence that I held my altitude with deviation no more that +- 75 ft and that she was really impressed. It is odd because I was kind of upset that I didn’t hold it better, but it felt good. It was pretty bumpy and I fought it most of the way there and the whole way back.
It was a good day flying. Next I need to try to plan my night cross country and solo cross country. Making progress!
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