The pace of my flying has slowed a bit, mostly because of the approaching winter weather... which is something of a good thing. Our checking account can't keep up with the rate of flying I did in October! I have still managed to fly around twice a week lately- and I've been studying like mad to get through the knowledge stuff for my commercial. I took the written yesterday-- and did reasonably well (89)-- that's good for me as I never manage to do as well on a test as I can in real life. It means I have to really prepare well to do as well as Husband-- he always does better on a test.
Speaking of Husband, I'm pleased that he commented on our last flight that I seem far more confident and comfortable in the plane that in the past. I don't think it was a dig on past performance-- but I have become a lot more in command. It's a little strange to be more confident than Husband, though. I'm not really used to that role (except maybe in the kitchen!). I'm having to adjust a bit to that idea-- but it makes sense given how much more time and energy (and studying) I've done lately. Husband is out right now finishing his stage 3 check for his instrument. I'm very excited for him-- and am glad he was able to find time. His schedule is always nuts.
This past weekend I ended up flying a few times. Husband and I went out to do a practice flight (and to help him knock the rust off) before his final instrument lesson. I acted as safety pilot and he flew all three approaches into OKV, and then one back into JYO. Even though I wasn't flying, it was nice just to be up... and I practiced asking him questions as opposed to just telling him when he was missing something). It went pretty well- and he had a beautiful landing back at JYO-- even with a pretty gusty crosswind. I think he's ready.
Sunday, a friend (R) and I flew up to meet up with a bunch of other 99s (the International Association of Women Pilots) for lunch in Lancaster. It was a lot of fun. I hadn't flown with R before-- I only just got involved with the 99s. She couldn't find an open plane to rent- so I offered for her to fly along with me. She's a great copilot-- very meticulous and conscientious. I was a little nervous at first (I haven't flown with many pilots that aren't instructors-- though I've flown with a bunch of passengers). She has around 400 hours-- in all kinds of different airplanes, which is cool. I thought we flew together pretty well, and am looking forward to more flying with her. In fact, she may join me when I fly down for the Women in Aviation conference in February. It would be great to have company- both for the flight, and for the conference. The lunch was fun, as well. It's fun to meet so many women with so much aviation experience! I'm a bit awed by it.
After flying back to JYO, Husband went up with our instrument instructor while I flew with my commercial instructor. I'm getting close to finishing up my requirements... just a couple more hours in the Arrow, one more night flight, and my medical. I'm hoping to finish within the next two weeks or so. Though, the thought of finishing makes me a little sad, too. This one has been really fun to work on. My instructor is great-- he's very curious about things, so has encouraged me to share articles, etc. He's been working a bunch lately with one of our asst. chiefs, and has picked up a lot of new information. Some of it makes my eyes glaze over a little-- I'm not a very mechanical person. But some of it has been really helpful. This time, we were both a little tired, so we decided to just fly over to OKV for a few landings in the Arrow, and then return to JYO. It had been 10-12 days since I last flew the Arrow, and I've had 4 or 5 flights in our plane since then, so I was a little wary on how well I'd remember things. I actually did pretty well, though I was more tentative than I'd like. I like that he will point that out to me at the end of the flight.
After landing at OKV, he told me to do a full-stop and pull off on the run-up area. Turns out, I had missed that the oil pressure was now showing in the yellow. I think I'd seen it, but it hadn't registered. We knew why-- we had elected not to add oil before the flight, though it was a bit borderline. The pressure was fine when we were prop full forward, but when we pulled it back for cruise, it went a little into the yellow. Given that it was still pretty stable, and only a little in the yellow, we decided it was okay to return to JYO-- but that we would go straight back without any more landings. I think we're going to do a mini cross country next time. I'd like to try doing some approaches in the Arrow to round out my hours. It will be interesting to do them in another plane-- we'll really see how well I do without the G1000! We're also working our way through the systems, so I should get some good ground time next week. I just hope I can make sense of it all. My dad would be impressed, though... looking at things like electrical systems! It brings back memories of him trying to teach me college-level science when I asked questions about my middle school homework.
Husband just called, sounds like he passed his stage check and can do his checkride next Sunday! Woo-hoo! I guess I know which books to pack for our Thanksgiving trip to New York!