Five Years Ago
“So, you are going to do it cold turkey?” asked Linda
“Yes, how hard can it be? I am going to be in the pattern…” responded I.
The last time I did a night flight (solo or otherwise) was 4 years and 10 months ago! While night flying can be fun, it is not a favorite time for me. Although with a good instructor or co-pilot, I love to get the experience to do some night flying!
It was a picture perfect fall day: warm, clear (for now) and busy. Earlier in the afternoon, Linda and I had headed out to the practice area, so I could practice my commercial maneuvers while she played safety pilot. It was a busy Sunday afternoon. After some steep turns, chandelles, lazy eights and steep spirals, we had returned comfortably back to the airport.
An hour later, after the sun set and evening twilight was about to set, I hopped back in the aircraft for some pattern work to execute some night landings and edge my night solo time closer to that required for a commercial rating.
It was a partly cloudy, and the waning crescent moon was not visible. I had deliberately departed prior to the official start of night time, so I could adapt easily to the night conditions. I looped around the pattern and decided to execute a touch and go for round one, as I adapted to night flying. Unfortunately calm winds meant runway 34R was in use, which meant right pattern!
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