This ‘n That… Into the air!!!!

   Made a date with a flight instructor to see about chipping some rust off my flying skills. It had been six months since I sat in the left seat and fiddled with the knobs and switches and things.

     I thought I’d picked a day and time that would be reasonably calm. By the time Paul (my flight instructor) showed up, I had finished pre-flighting the airplane. All the parts and pieces were still attached, tanks were full of fuel… and the wind started blowing. Sigh.

     The desert heat made its presence known as soon as I started the takeoff roll. See, the thing is, wing lift depends on a certain number of air molecules rushing over the top of the wing as in going fast enough. As the air gets warmer, it becomes less dense which translates into needing to trundle farther down the runway to gain that takeoff speed. This morning it was warm enough to make the takeoff sluggish at best. The wheels lifted off the runway, then settled back down, then lifted, then settled back down. Almost as if the airplane was saying, “I don’t wanta do this.” Perseverance won out and we went flying anyway.

     I wasn’t interested in doing much more than remembering how all the gadgets and gizmos worked so we flew south 15 or 20 miles while I made some gentle turns here and there. Too bad about the winds. They were coming mostly from the west and little south. That meant they were spilling over the Sierra into the desert. The turbulence wasn’t bad; I didn’t bump my head on the ceiling, but it did require some frequent control actions to fly straight and level. Either that or I was shakier than I realized.

     When I’d had enough thrashing about, I pleaded for mercy and we headed back to home base at Inyokern Airport, affectionately know as IYK International. I am exaggerating. It wasn’t all that bad. Although, Rikki would NOT have enjoyed it; if I could have gotten her in the plane in the first place. Jessie on the other hand would have begged for more.

     I plan on scheduling another jaunt, probably next week. The good news is most of the rust is gone.

Stay safe,

     the GOG