Another solo flight down. I have really been enjoying the time flying by myself. I took off from Nampa and flew over the practice area. We have several agriculture plots in this area. Because of the way the way the irrigation systems are set up we tend to have circle type fields. This provides an excellent opportunity to practice ground reference maneuvers such as flying in a complete circle. The challenge here is in not straying off the path when the wind effects the path of the aircraft. You have to make a combination of steep and shallow turns to fly in a circle and not an oval.
I tried flying earlier in the afternoon but it was really too bumpy and the air density was at 4900 feet. I spoke to my instructor prior to take off. He told me I could fly if I wanted too, but that it might not be as fun. Being the eager new pilot I am, I decided that I would give it a shot.
As soon as I took off I really felt like I was out of my comfort zone. I brought the aircraft back around the pattern and went to land. I immediately knew there where some significant differences in the way the aircraft normally handles. I landed the plane but was ready to go back. I took the plane back to the hangar and decided to fly later in the evening.
On my evening flight, I had not totally forgotten the experience of the landing earlier that day. I took off and played in the practice area for about 30 minutes, then decided to try a landing. Even though the wind was dead still, I was still shaken from my experience six hours earlier and wound up having to do a go-around. The two most important points of the go-around is to give it full throttle and take up the flaps in slow increments. I executed the go-around, got my self back into the pattern, and then after getting my head back into the game I executed a text book landing.
From this experience I have really learned to interpret what the wind sock reads and how my flight experience will be. I now really look at the sock before making a decision to fly.
The solo experience is incredible and is giving me tons of confidence. The instructor keeps me on a short leash- but its for my own good and that leash keeps getting longer as I progress.