Thursday, October 23, 2008

Case of the Nerves

I have several posts that I need to make... but in the meantime, thought I'd give a quick update. My stage 3 check was scheduled for this past Tuesday. I completed the oral portion with no problem, but then weather, a broken plane, and thoughtless scheduling (on my part) prevented me from doing the flying portion. I knew the winds were going to be gusty, so I asked the Chief if I could fly first and then do oral. He said no problem... but then I realized that the plane was out getting an oil change. So back to the original plan.

While answering the oral questions, I could see the wind getting worse and worse. We finished quickly, and he sent me off to check on the plane. It still wasn't back. After getting myself filed and finishing the last details of preparation, I stood outside to watch for it. I only saw a few planes attempt to land, but it wasn't pretty. They were all getting gusted around, and struggling to keep the plane down and pointed in the right direction. I saw our plane come down, bob up and down and side to side. After a few touches, the pilot got the wheels to connect with the pavement, and I could see the weight settle onto the tires. Then, I saw the plane suddenly veer sharply right, and then (after a heart-stopping second) back to the left. After that, I didn't need to see any more to know that I would not be flying today!

I went back inside and got rescheduled for Thursday (today), and then headed for home. A little later, I noticed on the schedule that the plane was down for maintenance. Turns out, the tach stopped working right after takeoff... Yikes! Luckily, Landmark was able to get it fixed-- turns out there was a loose connection with the magnetos. So... hopefully, I'll still get my stage 3 in today. Then tomorrow morning, the checkride.

I am one big bundle of nerves.

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