Comm Out

I really enjoy the morning flights and today was no exception. I got to the airfield early enough to do my preflight and tow the aircraft down to be refueled. My instructor and I talked through the chapters I had studied on the pitot system, how it works, and what to do if if the system should fail due to clogging. We also talked through how the altimeter is effected by barometric pressure, which will come in handy when I start doing my cross country flights.

It was a busy day in Nampa since the Warhawk museum, an aviation museum dedicated to WWII aircraft, was having a fly in. There were beautiful vintage WWII aircraft that had flown into the rendezvous and I was going to get to share the skies with them today. I took a few moment before my instructor and I met to review all my radio calls- I didn’t want to sound so much like a rookie with all these guys listening.

I made my call, advising all traffic that I would be staying in the pattern and returning for a touch and go. I fire-walled the throttle and had a great take-off. I now talk to my instructor- advising him on what I am doing. This helps me to reinforce all the correct steps.

As we turned downwind, my instructor and I both noticed that the radio did not seem to be transmitting. We proceeded to do our touch and go and then headed for the practice area. Once there, my instructor tinkered with the radio to try to get it to transmit, with no success.

I fly out of Nampa- S67 wich is class G airspace, so technically a radio is not required.

The rest of the lesson we worked more on my stalls and turns. We also focused on strait and level flight.

I took us back in over the east end of Lake Lowell, crossed over the midfield point, and let my instructor know that there were four Mustangs on taxi to depart. At this point went ahead and took control of the aircraft, made a very assertive right turn around and brought us into the downwind leg. His main point was to make sure they would see us as they were doing their run-up.

Sure enough, one of the pilots saw us – and we heard him call to the other aircraft- just the call we wanted to hear. Together we landed the airplane and taxied back to the hangar.

This was a good experience for me and cemented the need to be aware of various options when things don’t work out. I am also ordering my own hand-held aviation radio in the chance I have a comm-out situation on my own.

I am still working on the concept of strait and level flight. It seems that every time I think I have the right “picture” I am either nose high or nose low. I have scheduled some time this next week to fly with my instructor to practice on just this.

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