Finally! After a few rain/thunder checks, schedule issues, etc., I finally was able to get in the air and check off my first dual cross country last Thursday! Due to a chuck full schedule as always, I wasn’t able to get in the air for the last 3 weeks or so. I flew from Midland Jack Barstow Airport (IKW), to Lansing (LAN), Flint Bishop (FNT), MBS International Airport (MBS), then home for a grand total of 144 NM.
LAN and FNT are both class C airspaces, and MBS is class D airspace, so the trip was very helpful on getting a good foundation on communications with ATC. I admit, I obviously wasn’t perfect, and had a few mistakes, hiccups and brain farts, but overall I think I did okay, and more importantly I soaked in a lot and learned from the mistakes.
I filed a flight plan, got a weather briefing, and used pilotage and dead reckoning to navigate this cross country, which actually worked pretty well for the most part. Meanwhile JT, my instructor, looks at his fancy tablet and chuckles as he watches me drift ever so slightly off the course line.
On a note about my instructor, JT is an extremely smart man, and an even more experienced pilot. I’ve gathered from his stories that in the past, he used to fly as a missionary pilot in New Guinea, which I can imagine can only present the least desirable conditions for flying (tight airfields, nothing but jungle beneath you, an airplane that doesn’t quite work right more often than works right, etc…) I have a large amount of respect for his knowledge and experience, and his flight school at QAS. And if you ever meet him, you will understand when I say he is a character :). He may be all of the above, but he also has a fun joking personality to him that you can’t help but find funny, and on occasion you have the opportunity to give it back, which makes things kinda fun and takes the serious edge off of things, if you ask me since I’m kinda the same way in a less mastered sense.
Anywho, The cross country went well, could have gone better, but couldn’t have gone better in the sense that I learned a lot! Afterward, we sat down and went over the whole trip, and looked very closely at the hiccups so that I can wrap my brain around it without being rushed in the cockpit, and learn from it.
More to come, and less time to do more since school is starting up again 🙁 But we’ll make it happen!
Until next time,