Some Days Are Just TOO Sweet! A GREAT day!!!  :0)


August 31, 2005


Greetings,,, henceforth just call me 'SPIN MASTER' ;0).  Today, an incredibly great day was had!

I should have known that today was going to mark one of those extra special, totally spectacular days when (as my CFI and I were getting ready to roll-out the 152) John pointed out to me that one of my favorite C-172's had just come back online after a long time down (after an engine overhaul and wing replacement that was necessitated because a student pilot on a solo flight had managed to prop strike at a fuel island and then swung around the plane and dented one of the wings on one of the posts near the island - thankfully, no fire). Anyway, I remember thinking that seeing 9HE up again was a pretty great way to start a day; yet little did I know how much of a great day I still had left! :0)

Had my second spin session with my CFI, for the most part my spin entries and recoveries were right on target. In fact, on one of my first spins of the day, my instructor called for me to recover a half-of-a-spin before he actually wanted me to recover - i.e., he presumed I would 'miss a beat' and go past the second full spin that he had asked me to do, so he called it
early. Not happening today though; I precisely came out of the spin just a heartbeat after he called it - at one and one half full turns. He explained to me after the recovery that he had figured my first spin of the day would be off a beat - but I was right-on. Best part of all is that the mild motion sickness that hounded me on my first session didn't even come to
call. My instructor had told me before, that this would likely be the case; he was saying the first time the combination of adrenalin, getting acquainted and making sense of a new visual picture was just fueling what might have otherwise been some mild discomfort on that first day of spins, last week.

We also 'demonstrated' the base to final cross-controlled fiasco, however in the 152 it isn't as willing to snap back over to the other side and begin the spin, in the same way that some aircraft will. My CFI explained that with certain other aircraft that they will 'wallow' to one side and then snap right on over into a spin on the opposite side.

He had me demonstrate, teach and explain spins to the right, spins to the left, incipient spin followed by one spin, incipient spin followed by two spins, four spin sequence with recovery. Throughout the session my head and tummy were doing just fine and jeez I was really having fun with the spins!

As it grew time to return to my home field there was still a part of me that wanted to ask my CFI if we could do just one more set of spins (and he would have assented to it) but I thought that there was no sense in 'provoking' any motion sickness to rear its' head and that I should just go back to my home field. To say that I felt splendid after the session would easily be an understatement.

I turned to my instructor while I was flying back to Reid-Hillview and told him, "John, I think I've become 'one sick puppy', I REALLY enjoyed doing those spins!" John laughed a bit and said that is what he usually found with most of the students who had learned about and experienced spins. I have to admit I found myself 'probing my own psyche' trying to figure out why such a thing could be so (that is; how I could be enjoying spins?).

After some thoughtful soul searching; I think it is because one realizes that they are absolutely in control of the process (i.e. entering and recovering from spins) and that the event begins and ends on your 'say so' - you are always the Pilot-In-Command and you believe in what you have learned with absolute certainty,,, there is no doubt as to the successful outcome of the maneuver.

Soon we're on long final and I got cleared number two for landing, called out my traffic. When it came time I idled over the threshold and literally rolled the mains onto the runway surface (like smoothly moving a stick of butter across a hot griddle), no feel of contact except the rolling of the mains and then the feel of the nose gear as it gently rotated downwards to contact the runway. "Me, that was great!", John said with a smile... and I, trying to not sound too boastful had to admit that was pretty darned good!  Not that it had never happened before, but just that it happened on a day that had gone so well, thus far.  After the plane was tied down I met John at the counter to take care of the bill and John called out to Vicki at the desk; "Just call him 'Spin Master!' "  <grin>.

The day went so well, but little did I know it was going to get EVEN BETTER!  Long after the plane was tied down and we were upstairs at John's desk where he was recording my spin endorsement (for my CFI track, coming soon) and then headed downstairs. The owner of the fbo was at a table in the lounge area and John asked him the question that I was burning to ask; when would the Arrow III get its' replacement engine and be 'up'? The owner told John that the engine would be picked up today and the Arrow III should be available later on this week. I tried not to 'bubble' too much but I could
hardly stop telling him (the owner) what great news that was!!!

So, John turned to me and said that I should schedule my checkride for sometime in the next few weeks. Although John hinted that two weeks could be do-able, we both thought that 3 weeks from today would be a good conservative estimate. So, as my CFI turned to leave the FBO we said our goodbyes and I began to stow my gear in my car.

I begin to start my car and look up to see a Cessna 152 just pulling in to my FBO's tie-down row. I pause to look, just long enough to see my checkride examiner (i.e., the one that I was to do my Commercial checkride with before the 'buzzard's luck' with having to cancel the checkrides ((which I'm sure you all recall so I won't recount it here))) stepping out
of the plane; apparently just finishing a checkride. She didn't see me, so after I saw her go into the FBO, I kind of ambled in to buy some Cornuts from the vending machine and casually walked by a room, saw her and did one of those; 'well look who's here... and by the way..... <grin>'.

We scheduled the Commercial Checkride right then and there. Exactly three weeks from today on September 21, 2005 at 12PM P.S.T................

Yahoo!!!! I am seriously,, all-around, jazzed!!! I'll be practicing in the C-172 on maneuvers next week as well as schedule a dual session with my CFI in the Arrow III (because of the FBO's monthly 'currency' requirement - which I don't mind having to do in the least with their only complex airplane). Then of course, I'll be doing two sessions a week, solo, working
on maneuvers in the C-172 and the 'boutique' take-offs and landings (as my instructor euphemistically refers to them) in the Arrow III.

I guess maybe the 'third time is really the charm', 'cause I couldn't ask for a better combination of events all in the same day!

:0) I am just grinning ear-to-ear!!!! :0)

Thanks for listening! :0)

Below graphic designed by: Jeff Bucchino,
"The Wizard of Draws" (copyright owner)

Good Flights!

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