Sunday, June 9, 2013

Having A Break

Was today’s flight something to beat myself up over? I am going to have to learn to stop beating myself up over mistakes. I hadn’t flown for three weeks since leaving Austin TX. I flew in Oregon with an independent CFI on a familiarization flight. This was my decision. Not screwing around with the wx.

First mistake – I was distracted during the power checks by the aircraft behind me on the taxi way commenting on my nose gear strut over the radio. I proceed to take off without setting my instruments. The DI was 30deg off. I realized the mistake at 300’ as I commenced my noise abatement turn. Uneventful but I’m so annoyed at missing the second step of the before take-off checklist.

Second mistake - Later in the flight I was performing a 360 to lose height. I failed to put the mixture back to rich as I passed through 3000’. I was about to start my pre-landing checks. I would have spotted it then, but the CFI brought it to my attention. I felt embarrassed. I need to learn to stop beating myself up over small mistakes.

I proceeded to go missed at KTMK due to 28021G30 rwy31 (a good decision made by me and not the CFI). At KAST, I went around at 10’ due to not being aligned with the runway centreline (another good decision). Not beating myself up over that. I made good decisions. I returned to Twin Oaks feeling confident that I had at least seen some of the local landmarks. For the first time, I flew VMC on top. It was a small insight into the joys of flying IFR.

What’s the worst that happened today? I identified the instrument issue on departure. I resolved it and continued on-route. The mixture issue would have been identified during my pre-landing check. Yes, it wasn't ideal to descend through 3000’ down to 1300’ with the mixture leaned out.  I’m annoyed that the CFI said it before I spotted it. I should have had a sterile cockpit during the 360 turn.

Why am I beating myself up here? Pride with a having a new CFI on board? 3 weeks too long for a break? Is it time for another break? 

In Arizona, everything was familiar. I was hungry to fly. Not feeling the same here right now.  Seems my mind is focused on more important things than aviation at the moment. I’m deciding to take a break for a few weeks. I am going to go to OSH13 and fly again in August. I will still be current when I return but will probably fly with a CFI.

My parents are visiting Oregon in September. My Dad has never flown with me. In August I will fly to Seattle. In August I will fly pass through 100hrs PiC. In September I will take my Dad flying. Then everything will be good again. By then I will be hungry again.

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