This week I had my two school cross-country flights with a teacher. The last one of them was a progress check giving me a permission to start my pilot-in-command cross-country flights.
On Monday I flew a short PIC flight to the training area. I practised the traffic circuit flying trying to fly the exact speeds as I was coming to land, except I did this over the fields. I also did some turns and practised stall recoveries for the first time on my own.
On Tuesday I had my first cross-country with a teacher. It’s been three months since I’ve flown cross-country and I could tell. I felt a little rusty with all the paper work and maps, navigating and radio communication in the cockpit. It seemed like a lot. We flew from Pori (EFPO) to an uncontrolled airfield (no air traffic control) Jämijärvi (EFJM) and did a low approach, after which we continued to Tampere (EFTP). At Tampere we did a touch-and-go and headed back to Pori. The flight took about two hours.
I was supposed to have my cross-country progress check on Wednesday, but the weather disagreed. It was overcast at 100 feet. The clouds were basically hanging at the top of the trees. The sky didn’t open until two in the afternoon and my flight was cancelled for the day. I finally got to fly the progress check on Friday.
The second cross-country route took us first to Turku (EFTU) where we did a touch-and-go and continued to an uncontrolled airfield Oripää (EFOP) where we landed. Part of this exercise was to close and activate the flight plan at an uncontrolled airfield. At an uncontrolled airfield you can close the flightplan by phoning the Area Control Center (ACC), which in this case was Tampere ACC. You let them know the time of your arrival and ask them to activate the next flight plan and tell them what time your departure will be.
On the second cross-country for a while things seemed to flow a little better. Anyway, the important thing is that my progress check was ok’ed and now I’m free to fly. My cross-country flights as pilot in command start on Monday if weather complies. Stay tuned!