"BRING ON THE CHAMPAGNE" Leesburg by skywalkerbeth

Leesburg Travel Guide: 35 reviews and 68 photos

after all that, it wasn't so bad (champagne! now!)

If anyone has been following this story, I picked up again with training in late August and vowed to fly 3X a weekend (weather permitting) as my student privs are set to expire Oct 31.

this wkd was it... Then the school upped the ante - I had to have the plane back early because they needed it to scatter ashes of a pilot who had died..

So we went up and my CFI said, well, not sure if you can do it this morning b/c not only do we have to get the plane back but we also have to fill out your paperwork. Darn it!

We went up anyway and this morning, my landings SUCKED. bigtime. I was so frustrated - the first time I forgot to put the flaps in until I was getting ready to turn FINAL and I was so ****ed at myself for getting out of the flow that I flubbed the landing - it was useable, but not like the other ones (I'm telling ya, I was consistently getting like 10 in a row - superb - the last lessons...). and I was just off this morning. My CFI said I was being too hard on myself, but I was still ticked off. After six I said, ok, this isn't getting better, what the hell is my problem, let's go in and give them the plane. and so we did the paperwork and I watched the flyby. They scattered the ashes from "my" plane and right after they were clear of the pattern, a bizjet roared by on takeoff. Almost like his own little flyby...

we went back up in the PM and he said "when you are ready, I'll get out". We did four in a row, nice gentle landings (one was a little crunch but pretty good overall) and he said, "well, how do you feel, if you are ready I'll get out". and I thought Holy **** this is it. I said, well, it's now or never.

I let him out and the scene from the Natl Lampoon movie flashed briefly through my head - the one where Chevy Chase is about to skinny dip and he starts swinging his arms and chanting "this is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy"... and then he jumps in.

off I went! I puttered past the guys at the end, doing their runup - they looked and we all waved at each other (they had no idea what I was about to do)... and I made my call, and launched.

and ya know, you all were right - it does fly better when you're alone! the initial nervousness I after the 4th landing (after number three, I told him, ok, if the next one is good you're outta here...) was gone. I just up and did it.

during the first takeoff I noted not one but TWO people trying to enter the 45. one was on it, the other one was circling to make better separation and then enter the 45. (great, it's NEVER this busy...) so I was literally at TPA before I turned crosswind - and stayed there... I extended it far enough to avoid everyone. and the landing was a nice gentle one (after this morning and all the cursing, that felt good). I got a few "great jobs" on the radio... (pat pat).

Then, number two! (no, not what you are thinking!)

I just cleaned up the flaps, pushed in the carb heat and took right off again. (just like we always do). and this time, doo doo doo, around the pattern, then off in the distance I see something big coming in. "Falcon XYZ , extended base runway 35, Leesburg". (WTF? I always have the pattern to myself). I called downwind and he asked if I saw him. yup, sure did.

and he took his sweet old time coming in so I had to go WAYYYYYYYYYYYY out before turning base! I was still at TPA when I turned FINAL! so it was a long extended final. he hadn't even landed yet when I was on final. sigh.

my CFI said, if you want to go around, go ahead. I said, nah, I'm going to see if I can bring it in anyway. thank God for 40 degrees of flaps b/c I was really high - it was steep, but I brought it right in and squeak squeak. (that was my best one I think).

the last one was uneventful. I think I scared everyone off. I went through the pattern, a decent but not great landing and called over the radio, "well, it wasn't pretty but it's mine". My CFI said "you did great!!" and I brought 'er in.

  • Intro Updated Nov 12, 2006
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