Saturday, January 18, 2014

Last Night Training Flight - Night XC Flight to Dinwiddie KPTB

In preparation for my PPL checkride in a few weeks, I've been taking advantage of the recently good weather to finish up my remaining requirements towards the license. My plan is to take the checkride on my 17th Birthday if possible. 

Our plan for last night was to finish up my night training requirement. Previously, I had done 2 hours of night training with 8 landings. The PPL requirement is 3 total night hours with 10 full stop landings. Last night, we flew 1.2 hours and landed at both Dinwiddie County KPTB and Hanover KOFP. 

Our route of flight is shown below. As you can see, we flew into/over Richmond Class C airspace, and thus had to get clearance with Potomac Approach. Shortly after taking off from Hanover, I called up and requested VFR Flight following to Petersburg-Dinwiddie. As normal, it was approved, and we made our way to KPTB. 

This particular route of flight took us directly over downtown Richmond, which was really cool to see from the air. As you can see from the photo below taken on my GoPro, the city was an awesome sight at night: 

Upon checking with the AWOS Weather for Petersburg, the wind was read out as being calm. There have recently been issues with weather reporting at KPTB, so we were skeptical. Upon entering the 45 for runway 5, at 1,000 feet, the wind was read to be 25kts (which was a headwind on the downwind for runway 5, so we were concerned about a tailwind landing). We switched our plans at the last minute and turned right base for runway 23. Sure enough, upon passing the threshold, we had a headwind right down the runway, perfect. Below is a video from our landing: 

With 31.8 total hours, I have just a few requirements left towards the PPL. Here is what I have left to do: 
  • 3.2 hours solo cross country time
    • Long Cross-Country Flight (150nm roundtrip with 2 landing points, 1 leg over 50nm)
  • 3 solo landings at a towered field 
  • 2.3 hours simulated instrument flight 

That leaves about 3 hours remaining for final training before my oral and practical exams. I'll use that time to review anything that could be covered on the flight test. In theory, I could get my license at the minimum amount of time, 40 hours total. 

In just two days, this monday, I'm flying my long cross country flight. I'm planning on knocking out two birds with one stone by making a stop at Charlottesville to do my 3 solo, full-stop landings at a Towered (Class D) field. 

There will be a big post about that flight when it happens, so stay tuned! 

Thanks again,
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation 

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Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin