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It all STARTS with a DREAM!

Just got back from five days in Sebring watching aerobatic practice sessions for the contest taking place this weekend. Boy did I have FUN!! I didn't want to leave, but had to come home and mow the grass. :( Our annual neighborhood spot landing and BBQ takes place this weekend.

I had SO much fun in Sebring! I can still smell the AVgas... I really DO love that smell. :love: I can still hear the sound of airplanes flying around the aerobatic box. I can still close my eyes and see the graceful figures in the air. It was an interesting juxtoposition of sights and sounds... the airplanes overhead, the sound of squealing tires from the nearby racetrack.

I took a ride in a R22 helicopter with one of Tom's former students (there were lots of his former students there).
On day two, I logged some duel time in an EXTRA-300!!! :onfire:
Just like riding a WILD mustang at a full gallop up the side of a mountain. I once rode a half broke wild Indian horse bareback with nothing but a piece of rope tied up into a makeshift hackamore at a full bucking gallop across the countryside. The horse's name was "Trouble". Trouble didn't throw me but he tried. It was kind of like that. :crazyeyes: I love the way those airplanes start up clawing at the ground, raring to get up in the air. Very fast! :eek: Quite the rate of climb! :eek: Straight and level was a challenge :roll: the airplane doesn't seem to like that particular attitude very much! Aileron rolls are fast. Did my first LOOP :D and rode along on a straight up vertical climb hanging on the prop into a tailslide, then some torque rolls down and pull ups and spins, etc... :angel: Whew! A leetle bit too much airplane for me now :roll: ... but I can't wait to try it again some day! I found the PITTS much easier to handle 8) Yesterday I did a little more than an hour in another Decathlon. Did some more spin training, upset recovery, accelerated stalls, departure stalls, base to final stalls and chandelles. Good instructor. Now I'm back home for awhile, hoping I'll be back up in the air SOON!

Gone to mow...

This is the "Wild Ride"

:bad-words: I don't know WHY this picture won't stick!! Steve! Why won't it work!! (o well) :-?
Here ya go dreamer.


Where you want your picture, click Img - then paste it - click Img again - then click URL twice.
Hope this helps. By the way, you sure have a lot of FUN!! :D

What a busy week! Mowed like crazy getting the place ready for the annual spot landing and cook-out. I had some tee-shirts made up for the neighborhood (sectional containing the airport with info printed below and a little red bi-plane flying over, etc... ) It was very successful. Everyone wanted one and I'm having to order more. I'm realizing now, I should have printed the whole thing up-side-down so it would be easier to glance down and get one's bearings... :wink: Anyways, it was a wonderful day. I rode along in the Air Cam for the spot landing and volunteered to be bombadier in the STEARMAN :onfire: for the flour bombing contest. We flew in tight formation over the airport with the BT-13 and a hot looking little Fokker from the Netherlands. Yee Haw! Got another ride in a V-tail Bonanza later in the day.

The next morning, I got a phone call from a CFI friend I have flown with once before. "Come to Miami", he said, "I think I might be able to solo you in a borrowed Aeronca Champ." I spent the day in a feverish whirl, making arrangements and training someone to take care of all the horses I'm tending to, bringing my dog over to a friend's house, purchasing renter's/non-owner's insurance with ample hull coverage, tossing the flight gear into the car again...

I got on the road late in the day and drove for over five hours, making one bad turn into scary-town at night :crazyeyes: before finally finding my way to my friend's house. Set an alarm for dawn's earliest light and tried in vain to sleep... uh oh... :eek: The alarm went off minutes later and we drove to the airport. :morning: A squawk in one of the brakes was discovered and dealt with during the pre-flight. The wind started to pick up during the delay. We flew around Miami's busy airspace low and slow over the beaches of Miami and around the tip of Florida (my first cross country!) to a little private grass runway near the edge of the Everglades. What a beautiful flight! Did a bunch of touch and goes on the grass in a developing crosswind, then headed to another municipal airport that had a runway oriented with the wind.

The majority of the landings I have done were "dead stick". Power off abeam the numbers, control airspeed with pitch and altitude with slip or throttle, etc. Of course, any time I am in another airplane, I listen to what the voice in my head(set) tells me about how to fly that particular bird... The last time I'd flown a Champ, I did a perfect power off landing. This time (in a different Champ), I was told to control sight-picture with pitch and airspeed with throttle, something I have had very little practice doing... Oh :bad-words: My utter physical and mental exhaustion didn't help matters at all. I did not solo that day. O well :(

Well, at least now, I am carrying my own liability and hull coverage. 8) Gonna try it again in a Citabria next month. Hoping to find some way up into the blue in the meantime. I know I am suffering for lack of consistency and too much time between flights. It's not for lack of trying! I've driven thousands of miles to fly for a mere few hours in the logbook. As you might have guessed, I'll fly just about anything I can get myself into. Someday I'll shall have to fly TO all these places I have flown from! :angel:

Well... Last week, decided to drive over to a nearby grass strip rumoured to be closing :( to see what might be going on :eek: Happily :D with nought but the vagaries of the real estate market to thank, the airport will not be closing any time right soon. While looking over the runway, a truck drove up alongside... "Say, fella, D'ya know what's going on around here?"... "Yep" (etc... ) Know of any tailwheel airplanes that might be for sale?" ..."Yep". (etc.) Know of anyone doing primary instruction in taildraggers around here??"... "Yep, that would be me." And your name is??... "I am **** ******, ATP, CFI, CFII, A&P, primary and advanced instruction, (etc...) "Will you solo a PRIMARY student in a tailwheel aeroplane??"... "Yep! Been teaching folks how to fly in Champs for fifty years now, why the heck not?"

So....... TODAY.... I got in a 1946 7AC 65hp Aeronca Champ and flew it ALL BY MYSELF!!! :angel: :angel: :angel:

Wheeeeeeeee!!! :drinking:
That a girl. I was hoping it would work out.
Has the :D wore off yet. I bet not.

Congratulations Christina!

It is a relief to hear that there is a seasoned tail dragger CFI out there that let you solo out in a tail dragger
So....... TODAY.... I got in a 1946 7AC 65hp Aeronca Champ and flew it ALL BY MYSELF!!!
My most sincere congratulations.. :up
OK... when you mentally come down to earth, please describe the event in your inimitable style - don't spare any details (or Emoticons :p )
OK... when you mentally come down to earth, please describe the event in your inimitable style - don't spare any details (or Emoticons )

Don't wait until you come back down to earth to share the details :D


What a great little plane to solo in. Felt really different when the big-ol instructor got out. Those mean 65 horses really act up when your alone in the cabin :D Good job and wear your tail-less shirt proudly.
Hey Lynne! Congratulations on your solo - it was a long time coming! Now I won't be able to keep up with you when I get down there in January.

Lynne, Anne, (and anyone cubless while in South Florida,

Sunquest Aviation at North County (F45) now has a SuperCub Special N156T.

I think it is 105HP, toe brakes.

It is listed on the rentals list so I assume you can both rent or get instruction in it.


Good going "Dreamer", next time I see Tom I'll tell him the news.

Well alrighty then... The mangers have all been filled again. I wait for the nearest star to shine brightly on Christmas morn (and LO it shall appear in the East!) and will go fill them again. The rising full moon is dangling in the branches of a huge live oak outside my window that's all festooned with Spanish moss and the windsocks are hung by the runway with care. All is calm and all is bright! I am tucked in the hangar watching the runway for a flying sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeers. Oooh! I see red and green lights in the sky! :x-mas:

OK... you asked for details :eek:

It was a clear blue day with a soft breeze blowing out of the West. I couldn't believe there was not an airplane in the sky!! My Honey and I decided to drive out to a nearby grass strip airport to see if there'd be anything going on over there. We drove slowly past the open air hangars looking at all the airplanes tied down. The little taildraggers looked up to the sky, incredulous that no-one was there to loosen the knots. The lone person in a pickup truck that stopped by to say hello was waiting for a student to appear for his flying lesson. When he didn't appear, The instructor said, "You want to fly today?" Ooooh Boy! Of COURSE I had my flying shoes on! :angel: So we conducted a thorough preflight, pulled the prop, taxiied down the grass and OFF the ground we leapt. Now it had been nearly three months since I'd done any serious practice landings. The last page in my log book had eight different airplanes in it! (1 Supercub, 1 Champ, 1 multi-engine Air Cam, 1 BT-13, 2 different Decathlons, 1 Pitts S2B and an Extra-300!) :crazyeyes: Just wanting to get some stick time in anything that had the little wheel in the proper place while seeking one I could solo in, I'd taken every opportunity presented and gone through some training not ordinarily included in the primary flight training syllabus. Why not I figured? Spin training sounds like a good idea to me, as does upset recovery, unusual attitude training and I'd learned that flying up-side-down is just plain FUN! :angel: Now none of this was done at TPA... :roll: Tom had taught me how to do a dead stick landing... pull the power abeam the landing point, turn base and final at the appropriate rate of speed and slip on down if needed to hit the spot (low wing into the wind). We flew around for awhile to get me used to the airplane and then did some landings... passable but not pretty... it had been too long since I'd been able to do very many landings in any one particular airplane. A couple of times the instructor pulled the power at unexpected times. After the hour was up, we talked. He was pleased with my coordination in the turns, but wanted me to work on something he called a "standard rate turn" before setting me loose. Gee Whiz! :roll: I'd figured that since I only had 65 little ponies to work with, I'd better fly a tight pattern! OK... 15 degree banked turns... gradual reductions in power to set up a stabilized approach. OH! :wink: Interesting approach! Went back on the next available date and practiced some more. FINALLY! He got out of the airplane and sent me off on my own... "Give me three". WHOO HOO!!! :onfire: Boy this thing climbs GREAT! Uh oh... don't want to pick up an escort... stay under the radar from McDill AFB! Up around and down... ooops... not done flying! Hold the stick BACK! Now it's down. :D Taxi back... Gosh this airplane feels a whole lot lighter now... turn 360 at the base of the runway again and check for traffic... now straighten out the tail wheel... check stuff... OK! FULL power again! Wheeee!!! All around the pattern and one perfect landing... ONE more time! Crab into the increasing crosswind on take-off... climb to 500 feet, turn cross wind, still climbing, turn down wind (make all the appropriate radio calls), level off at 800 feet... pull the carb heat prior to reducing power, adjust trim, reduce power again, tweak trim, turn base, wing into the crosswind...ooops... flared a leeetle bit high! KEEP the stick back... NOW she's all done flying! Taxi back, clear the active RWY, taxi back to hangar and deplane. Uh oh... Why is that grinning man walking toward me with scissors?? :eek: Well at least he used pinking shears! :lol:

Did another solo flight a few days later and am now planning a dual cross-country and am looking to check off the remaining items required for the practical test standards in the next few weeks. I'll be able to do my check ride in the Champ!

Dreams DO come true!!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! :angel: :angel: :angel:

The story is true :D I was a not entirely disinterested witness. :p And having myself soloed in a 7AC while dreamer was in diapers - there's a vision - and having since spent a couple thousand hours in Pitts and Extras and such and another thousand or so each flying mail in Beech 18s and blowing stuff (mostly coconuts) up in A1s, I wanted to see if it was true that the extra Y chromosome prohibits chicks from flying tail wheel stuff. It ain't true. :eek: This chick can fly. And looks good doing it. She can even think while flying. That is simply extraordinary for a blond.
Once she learned that you don't have to do 70 degree banked turns in the pattern, although it really looks cool, I knew the shirt was going under the knife, or scissors, soon. :onfire: It's going to be simple transition into the J-3 at K-62. And she can sew. Which is going to come in handy when the 2 Fairchild 24's we're rebuilding need rib-stitching. :lol: If anyone knows of a decent clipped J=3 or Swick T project for sale, please let one of us know. Her hanger looks so unwanted with nothing but a Suburu project in it. :help Wait a minute, a pretty tailwheel flying articulate female with a hanger and I'm posting lame messages from afar. :bang I should hitch a ride back south, now.:But first a little of the homemade ethanol :drinking: :up
Hmmm... look who's flown out of the box! :eek: Well, it IS Christmas! :lol: :x-mas:

Thanks for loaning me your shirt pushhard... uhm :oops: ... I owe you one :wink:

:angel: :angel: :angel:
What's with the hanger? The one the shirt's on, not the one you live in. :roll:
My shirts don't live on hangers. They are always wadded up in overnight bags waiting for the next call out. :crazyeyes: And unless I'm mistaken, don't you owe me two?? :bunny Another blue one? Anyway, now that you have a whole 2 hours of multi instruction, you're almost ready for the right seat in the GII. :onfire: The airlines are using less experienced FOs :elf: I though you were going to fly the shirttail on the flagpole under theConchRepublic flag
See Cloud Dancer:anon,I have too been there. I think I'll go out and pick the lock on the Lear (Wait - I don't have to. Any Samsonite key works on Learjet locks), point it South, and slap it on the a**. OK, 308 knots down the runway at 15 feet. That'll wake the neighbors :Gwhoa: Then go to Ft. Pierce trying to slow down. I'll use 129.525 in the pattern. "Hello, Rangoon." :Glaf: Then we can dash to the Post Office to mail the NTSB Report. :flag and spend the rest of the day pacifying the neighbors :cheers Or we can have you practice the Primary sequece :D It rolls great
(with the tips empty. It rolls great with full, too, it just doesn't want to stop :roll: Throw the gear out at the top of the loop for speed control. At the top of the Hammerhead pull the left thrust lever to idle and go to flaps full in the pivot. The turns will be just like the ones you like to do from base to final in the Champ. Roll to knife-edge and pull like crazy. Now we'll see who flies out of the box. :roll: And if anyone asks, you're the PIC. :yeow: :yeow:
NON-simulated engine failure... off airport bush landing.


*small plane crashes in Myakka River State Park
*infra-red footage of wreckage
last few days of local news

dual CC done... 100 mile NIGHT CC leg done... emergency NON simulated engine failure emergency landing in pitch dark alligator infested swamp... done

On final... the only tree in one hundred acres of gloom pops up in the landing light (massive old oak). Randy (pushhard) executes a quarter snap roll to knife edge to avoid the tree successfully before leveling out the wings and flaring to land. (Who knew you could do THAT in a C-150?) The nose wheel (bad words) hit a big alligator?? some deadfall buried under the sawgrass?? the edge of the marsh transitioning into the sawgrass?? (the manuever cost us some altitude and caused us to land shorter than we otherwise would have). The nosewheel gear bent and caused the airplane to do an uncommanded outside loop to the inverted position... Fortunately, we were slowed up pretty good at that point. Thank God for Randy's unlimited aerobatic training and experience. There's a profile on him in this months Sport Aerobatics magazine... Surprisingly, there was not a whole lot of damage to the aircraft. It appears to be repairable. The day before I had done my first tricycle gear landing in a Grummon Tiger. This was my first "spam can" experience. I KNEW there was a reason I wanted to be in a taildragger!

What happened... Circled the airport at 3000 feet and was unable to turn the lights on. It appeared that someone else on the ground was keying a mike at the same time and turning them off or preventing them from coming on at all. :bad-words: (an investigation is on-going... I am FURIOUS!) We never saw the runway lights. We had more than an hour of fuel and had plenty of options at that point... until the engine quit. It gradually rolled back in power and quit completely (we suspect a fuel contamination issue...) Carb heat didn't fix it, nor did anything else work. We checked EVERYthing! Set up best glide and still tried to fix the problem. Luckily I know the area very well (It was PITCH black with nought but the thinnest sliver of moon). Got away from the populated places with houses and fences and power lines and TREES and headed to the south side of the lake at the park to the big sawgrass flats (Glad I am familiar with the area). I turned the airplane over to Randy somewhere in that sequence. I didn't even scream. Randy figured that close to the lake there were less likely to be trees. Thank God for the drought... usually there's 2-4 feet of water in the flats this time of year and reputedly more alligators per square mile than ANY place on earth! It was dry and very cushy. Too far for the alligators to come from the drought receded edge of the lake. I didn't even get my nice Apache moccasin flying shoes wet. It was one HELL of an ATV ride out of there.

Went back yesterday to see the location in he daytime... Almost wished we hadn't... Most of the area is heavily forested (think the haunted forest in the Wizard of Oz) It appears that we also flew under some power-lines just before going knife-edge to miss the tree. Missed a big mud-hole by 20 feet... The nosegear is severely bent... Two engine mounts on the firewall are broken and the vertical stabilizer and rudder is bent. The wings are fine! Didn't even break any windows or instruments! It's a MAJOR alligator nesting ground. Thank God for the drought! There were probably 500 alligators in the immediate vicinity including some real monsters 15-20 feet long. Randy had given me a cell phone to use for emergencies 'cause he didn't like me driving around without one (driving across remote areas of the state for any chance to continue flight training and such). Unbelievably it worked... His had fallen out of his pocket onto the flap hinge and was covered by weeds... we couldn't find it right away. I'd also borrowed a Vector Products "Power on Board" light bar from a friend at Indiantown because my mag light was missing from my flight bag. We were located a whole lot sooner with that than we would have been with a little mag light. Lost the re-charger in the weeds. I wrote to the company for a replacement unit!

We set a new record for a short field landing in a C-150 (21 feet). Randy's got a small gash on his nose and some shiners and I've got a small bruise on my hand. I didn't do it... I swear!! Feeling a little stiff and sore, a little emotional at times and absolutely furious that some utter idiot fool or sociopath was playing games with a hand-held radio. The runway light-box reciever is being replaced with one that can NOT be used to turn off the lights.

Alrighty then! Just need two more hours of night training (glad the hundred mile leg is done!), some instrument training, practical test prep and some solo CC and additional time. I WILL be contiuing aerobatic training.

Y'all be careful out there, ya hear?

Lynne (and Randy)
I'd like to say something really cool and snarky. The words just don't come to mind. Thank Goodness you're OK! Good write-up.

Get back to flying soon. You deserve it!

John Scott

P.S. Sometimes we are afraid of things because we've never tried them. Next time you have an emergency it will be a non-issue!
Lynne & Randy,
Glad the outcome was a good one.

The experience you continue to achieve along your flight training
is incredible, although no one wants an experience such as this, it will prove to be a valuable one in your flying career that's ahead of you.

You Both Take Care,
Although Lynne is delightfully articulate, the whole thing can really be described in one word, "OUCH!!!"
And to quote W. C. Fields, "If it weren't for the honor of it, I'd just as soon not."
And always remember, fly the airplane through the crash, not just to the scene of it. Even through an outside half loop of indescribably small radius performed with only part of the airplane above sea (or gator) level.

"We're not happy... "

The FAA investigation team has left the hangar. Glad I've already had some experience with this sort of thing. :roll: As they left, I asked why they hadn't told us they were here to help. Their reply, "Oh we're not from that division, we're from the We're not Happy 'till You're not Happy division. They're on their way over to the State Park now to investigate the accident scene. Their FAA issue black brogans are going to be muddy! :eek:

Lynne (and Randy)
I hope you didn't tell them about the alligators.... :lol:

Congrats on working through a serious emergency, and handling it well.

Hopefully, you'll be able to determine the source of the engine problem as well.

mvivion said:
I hope you didn't tell them about the alligators.... :lol:

Uhm... Would that be considered cannibalism?? :eek: I'm sure there's some sort of reg against that! :crazyeyes: or at least they might extend a professional courtesy. :roll:
OK... I think the feds are all gone now. It's probably safe to talk again :roll: I've logged 30 more hours since the accident. Can you believe the NTSB didn't even want a report?? Both SOB's walking and talking, no bent wings, fuselage or broken windows after gently flopping over with an uncommanded half outside loop... The nosegear was wrecked upon touchdown, but I think that's probably made out of popsicle sticks... Well, that alligator hide IS pretty tough! :eek: NTSB and FAA is understaffed and up to their eyeballs in red tape. The day after our little mishap, a 172 flying an approach over water came in too low and tried to extend a glide resulting in a spin/stall and nose first collision with Tampa Bay. All three people on board were killed. The FAA was on their way to investigate that crash after talking to us. I'm sure there was going to be a lot of paperwork involved with that one. I guess they didn't want to deal with any more.

The following week, I got back into an airplane. My instructor neighbor (Supercub) and his beautiful wife JOY! gave Randy and I a ride in their Aztec down to Naples where we hitched a ride on a Lear back to Lexington. I wasn't nervous... I could SEE the ground and all the wonderful flat fields everywhere we could have landed in if we could have SEEN them. I was more nervous driving my car the following day. The steering wheel reminded me of that yoke. I much prefer STICK and rudder! The Lear was fun... climbs WAY faster than the Champ... probably performs on a par with the Crimson Cub :wink:

Lexington was fun. I saw SNOW again :angel: and got to wear my city clothes 8) Went up to Northern Kentucky to Randy's home airport and got a little more stick time in a Christen Eagle. :D Started learning the IAC primary sequence (45 up, full turn spin, recover pointing straight down :eek: half cuban, loop, competition 180 turn and slow roll), then experienced some more advanced maneuvers with the instructor that was with me. What FUN!! :angel:

Drove back home to Florida and visited Charles Aaron and the Crimson Cub in North Georgia. I'll be writing a story on him for a yet to be named Aviation Publication (hey Cloudy, have you got a spare sack I could borrow?) Saw some meticulous restoration work in progess. I am impressed.

Upon arriving back home, I got back in the Champ and practiced some more ground reference maneuvers. I was at the point where I needed to be in an airplane with a few more instruments installed to complete my training. I hooked up with a recommended instructor down in Venice and rented a beat-up trainer (C-152) from the big flight school. It was really expensive ($100/hour!) and the plane was covered with smoking rivets, had bald tires and looked like it had been ground-looped! Yikes! I also found out that the flight school does not want to even work with locals... All the money is in training foreign students apparently :roll: Sheeesh!

Thumbing through Flying magazine, I saw a small ad for accelerated flight training at a place called "Tailwheels Etc." in Winter Haven Florida :D THAT caught my eye! I'm just needing to go to "finishing school" at this point :lol: I contacted them and liked what I heard. Randy and I drove up to check out the place in person and liked what we saw.

A week later, we drove up and camped out in a hotel and I flew every single day (well, took one day off for Wx and wind :cry: ) Unfortunately, the day we arrived, one of the runways was closed for repairs and it was very windy all week. There were challenging crosswinds every single day and my first nosewheel solo was delayed. But I kept flying and finished up all my other requirements in the meantime.

I like flying on instruments! Ended up with more time than required. Did some more spins too :D On my first night flight since the accident, we set off for a long cross country. It was my first unMANned flight (other than solo). There was a pretty green-eyed GIRL in the instructor seat! At the first check point over Fantasy of Flight, we heard a THUMP and looked at each other wide-eyed... "Did you hear (feel) that?"
"I'm not real comfortable with that, I think we should turn back"
"OK, sounds good to me!!"
The oil pressure and temperature showed no change, but something DID smell funny... The instructor wondered if she was over-reacting to the situation, but I assured her that it was probably a good idea to return to base just to be sure. (Hear a thump, return to the dump) She gets out of the airplane first. In the darkness I hear "Uh Oh... I see feathers", followed by "Ew... GROSS!" as she gets around to the front of the airplane. There lodged in the right cowling opening was a large night hawk, one wing dangling down. Aw... poor bird :cry: Good thing we turned back! What we probably smelled was exhaust from the blocked airflow. If we'd continued, two cylinders would probably have over-heated (or feathers might have caught on fire) and I would have experienced yet ANOTHER engine failure at night!! :yikez: Amazingly ther was no damage done to the engine or airplane. The bird was removed, including one talon back by the firewall and a few miscellaneous feathers, and the plane was flying again the following morning.

I was NOT looking forward to the following evening. Luckily it went off without a hitch. I found ALL my check points and BOTH airports in the dark. A strong head wind on the return trip reduced our ground speed to nearly nothing. It seemed to take forever. The following night I completed the remaining night landings required and finished the night operations training in excess of the minimums. Whew!

The following day I flew with "Scooter" again. Scooter is one year older than my son but has been flying since he was a real kid. He soloed in a glider and has a ton of tailwheel time. He's a real natural pilot. He teaches full time at the sea-plane base and part-time at Tailwheels Etc. He's headed up to Homer, Alaska for the Summer to do some charter work for some operation up there. If any of you guys and gals up there run into him, please tell him I said hello! :howdy We went up to do some more touch and goes in the pattern. Scooter is looking out the window and fiddling around and all of a sudden it's "Ooops! My door just popped open. Calmly I asked him if he was able to close it... "I can't! What'll we DO??" I assured him that everything would be ok and we could deal with it on the ground... "I have to fly the airplane right now" I said as we turned downwind to base. As we are climbing out for the next lap around the pattern, I hear "OH NO! A mean old bug has flown into your pitot tube" and he covers up the airspeed indicator. I grin... suddenly I am back in the Decathlon with Tom, who kept me focused outside of the airplane watching the wings and the nose and glancing periodically at the airspeed... "Fly the airplane, NOT the instruments" was something Tom instilled in me from the beginning.
"Aw shucks", I say, "Well good thing there's no bugs in the static port"
Scooter says "Uh Oh" and covers up the altimeter and rate of climb indicator.
"Hmmm", I reply while continuing the touch and goes (and occasional engine failures), "It's a good thing my vacuum pump still works!"
"You're not going to believe this", he says, "Your vacuum pump just failed too". Then he covers up the rest of the instruments.
I roll my eyes while looking at the runway to my left on downwind and exclaim, "Well GEE! At least I still have a magnetic compass to keep my bearings!"
One more piece of paper comes out :lol:
We shot a few more landings and finally came to a complete stop back on the ramp. :crazyeyes: Every instructor in the school had to come out to see the instrument panel. It was completely covered up. The crack maintenance department fixed all the avionics in record time.

Randy has to return to Kentucky to take care of business. A friend volunteers to continue watching my dog so I can stay and get finished up.

Finally the winds died down and I was able to do my first nosewheel solo in 5307Q. Getting ready for my first solo crosscountry, I am given a crash course in GPS operations for an emergency back-up. The owner of the flight school gives me his watch to hang on the yoke for dead reckoning purposes. (I can't wear a watch... they all stop if I do due to some weird electro magnetic force) During climb-out upon departure, both the GPS and the watch suddenly go haywire. It was also quite hazy in the afternoon heat of the day. I contacted Miami approach and requested flight following to make sure I stayed on course. While talking to the controller, my PTT button suddenly went BOING! and disappeared somewhere between the seat and the door. I stare at the hole in the yoke in disbelief. Hmmm... I dunno if this would work in case there's an electrical contact involved, but MAYbe, if I can find something to stick in there, I might be able to make it work again (Miami approach is trying to contact me while all this is happening... ) I eyeball the pen I've got with my flight plan... Hmmmm... quickly I dismantle the pen and find a little piece inside that was a perfect fit. I stick it in the hole and press down. "Miami approach, this is 07 Quebec, can you hear me now??" IT WORKED!! I flew to my destination and returned to base in time to view a glorious sunset.

The next day I fly the loong solo cross country and do my three TO's and landings (solo) at a towered airport nearby. I HAVE to get back home. I fly back to my home airport with my instructor and taxi up my cozy little hangar. I only need ONE more hour of solo time.

Next week is the first Spring IAC contest at Keystone. Randy is the chief judge. I'm going with him and get to be an assistant :D After the contest, we'll stop in Winter Haven and I'll get FINISHED UP!! Wheeee!!!! :angel: :angel: :angel:

I can hardly wait to see what's next :roll: I think I'll end up with the average number of hours it take to get a PPL these days, but I suspect I've had more than the average number of experiences in my training :crazyeyes: I'm going to have to go through my log book again and count how many airplanes, types, airports (and off), sectionals and different instructors it's been to date.

Might go fly to an island tomorrow with one of my CFI neighbors! (multi-engine air-cam) Hope the Wx holds out!

Lynne :angel:
Hello Lynne

Glad to hear that things are going good. Sounds like you have had lots of excitement along the way too :eek:

Good luck on the checkride when you take it!!