Friday, December 22, 2006


I flew a new (for me) Cherokee Archer out of PAO today, N81034. I've tended to shy away from the planes with "all numbers" call signs for some reason; I think I was afraid the call signs would be less identifiable by me in the air. No such problems today, and it turns out the plane was really, really nice! Nothing fancy, or anything, it was just totally solid and flew really well.

I took off out of PAO at about 4:30pm and stayed in the pattern for two landings. Both landings were excellent -- nice and soft, I remembered to look down the end of the runway (unlike last Friday). So I decided to head out to SQL. There I got a straight in landing clearance, but the controller (who's not the best, frankly) then got overloaded with 610SP in the pattern wanting a short approach and a King Air coming in faster than he'd thought. He made both me and the SP do a left 360, which for me was a little uncomfortable right over 101 between PAO and SQL at 1000'. But oh well. I came in and landed again very well, and taxied back.

I stayed in the SQL pattern for two more landings. I became steadily more precise both on holding pattern altitude and on following the VASI glide slope. I tried leaving the power on for the third landing, since it was getting dark, but I think that just served to confuse me and land a little harder. After the third landing I took a right downwind departure back towards PAO, and came in and landed again with the power on and again less smoothly than before. But still, pretty well.

All in all, a good day/night of practice!

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