Sunday, March 08, 2009

Back in the Air!

When I went for my medical in January, I indicated that I had had a kidney stone in March of 2008. Consequently, the doctor rejected my application. I followed the instructions on the AOPA website for kidney stones, but they missed a few things. I had to go to a urologist, have an ultrasound and x-rays of my kidneys, ureters and bladder, then two different blood tests. My doctor then had to write a letter stating that I was had no stones present and was not likely to have another. This documentation was sent to the FAA and several weeks later, I received my second class medical with no restrictions.

So, yesterday, Christy and I flew in N512MA, an old, tired Piper Warrior II. This plane is a far cry from the G1000 Skyhawks that have spoiled me lately. Due to some last minute problems at home, we were late arriving at the airport and we didn't get the engine started until shortly before 2pm. The weather was perfect for VFR flight with a 7 knot breeze, few clouds and lots of blue sky.

We departed Craig to the west and I tuned the 290 radial from the CRG VORTAC so I could have an indication that would keep me out of the JAX class C airspace. I climbed to 4,500 feet and we followed interstate 10 westward towards Glen St. Mary. Christy appeared to be thrilled by the view and was pointing out landmarks that she knew. We eventually flew over her small town and circled her house a few times after dropping down to 1,200 feet. Then I tuned the VOR for Cecil Field and we climbed to 3,500 feet and overflew Cecil. From Cecil it was eastbound to my neighborhood and we circled my house at about 1,500 feet. I noticed that my Dad had arrived at my house, so we headed back to the airport.

I listened to information Charlie at Craig then called the tower. I was instructed to enter a right downwind for 14 and report midfield. We descended to 1000 feet and I pointed at the airport. When I reached midfield, the tower cleared me to land. I reduced power to 1,700 RPM and put in the first notch of flaps. I trimmed for a nose down attitude and began a 500 fpm descent. I turned base and dropped the second notch. Then a turn to final and the final notch of flaps. I dropped a little below the glideslope and pulled the nose up. The plane slowed nicely. Low wing planes tend to float a bit especially if you come in hot, but I came in just right. As the speed dropped, I held the nose high and the wheels touched down gently on the numbers. I was particularly pleased with the landing especially considering that I had not flown since Christmas and it had been quite some time since I had flown a Warrior.

We had a beautiful flight and a wonderful time. 1.1 hours of VFR flight.

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