All over my body I feel warm, my eyes dart left, to the fully extended wind sock, back to my panel, and then straight ahead. A couple hundred feet before the displaced threshold I line up on the centerline and slowly advance the power. The airplane starts accelerating down the runway, I sit mesmerized for a moment at the sight before remembering who's at the controls.
Reunited with an old friend, the Ugly Duckling, I finish my engine start checklist and the Duckling roars alive. Unlike some of my lessons over the summer, the plane gives me no trouble starting up.
Update: I will unable to be in Yurp the entire month of February due to some changes in my work schedule :(
We begin our descent towards Santa Rosa, lined up for runway 32 with strong headwinds and a warning of moderate turbulence from the tower.
Pulling my laptop out of my bag this past Friday, I was excited with the prospect of a good relaxing day of hacking on whatever I pleased. Having fulfilled the Thanksgiving family obligations, and negotiated an errand-free day with my wife, I was pretty excited about a full day of tinkering.
Santa Rosa's current conditions are overcast with plenty of fog. The forecast and the weather brief confirm that it should start to clear up around 10-11am.
After a week of utterly painful patience, my wife and I were finally able to get up in the air this morning, undertaking our first flight together with my new private pilot's license.
One of my favorite aviation sayings is "you start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck."
Early on in my flight training I wrote that one of the most difficult aspects of the endeavour is summoning the strength to humbly, and realistically, self- assess your own performance.