Three New Airports and a Night Flight!
Last night I had my first adventure flying an airplane at night. The night was beautiful! What a difference flying in the day makes. It is amazing how different the eye works during the day than at night. Though it was amazing, boy did it cost a lot!
During the flight I went to three new airports I had never been. Two were planned out by Rick, the third was a stop I wanted to make for a friend. All three though were different in their own way.
We took off out of Twin Oaks and began our flight down to the Eugene Airport (Mahlon Sweet Field Airport) (EUG). It is amazing how the cities along the way light up, and when you know the area, how useful they are to navigate a route. We contacted Flight Watch to watch our flight and went on our way. The flight south was flown at 5500ft. This was to avoid the high terrain sitting around 4200 feet and also because traffic flown south is at odd thousands of feet (north is even thousands). Eugene was easy to navigate to even though the airport was on the west of the city.
Flying to this airport brought up a number of memories from when I was a kid. Mainly riding my bike to the Eugene airport, being able to fly around the city, and get my first feel of what flying was like. Since then I’ve had this itch I’m finally scratching with this adventure learning to fly. What a thrill.
I ended up doing three landings into Eugene, and they were awesome. For being my first time there and first time landing at night, I was thrilled with how I did. Wish that was the same for the other two airports.
We took off out of Eugene and directly flew north. The flight to Albany Municipal (S12) was an easy flight, though there was definitely a head wind slowing us down. I did two landings at Albany and each time my eyes played some tricks on me due to the darkness and I landed a bit off. No crashes or broken parts or anything, just flared early causing us to bounce when we landed. Just something I need to practice and get over. The stop to Albany was an important one cause now I can go down and visit my friends in the area!
My last location before heading home was definitely a detour. I need night time and landings anyways so it wasn’t a big deal. I needed to drop something off to a friend who lived in Monmouth, so I decided to make a stop and give it to him. Pretty awesome to have a friend watch me land at night. I didn’t have it in my heart to tell him how much that delivery cost me though!
The landing into Independence (7S5) was a bit fickle. For one, the lights didn’t turn on until we were right next to the airport. Then when landing, the same thing that happened into Albany happened here. Had a bumpy landing. I need to start getting down lower before doing my flair! Oh well, I made the drop and got out of there.
We headed north out of Independence back home to Twin Oaks (7S3). There is quite a ridge before Twin Oaks so we needed to be high enough to clear the terrain. So we got to around 3000ft and flew home. I made my way around Twin Oaks through the pattern. The first attempt was high, and it was probably due to the haze and the darkness messing with me again. I did a go around and had Rick take the controls to avoid causing us to be broken. I held onto the controls and felt how it went. Thankfully he’s done this before and is quite a good pilot.
What a night. I can’t believe that we just flew 2.8 hours (almost $450 out of my pocket 🙁 ) Oh well though, I needed to get 3 hours of flying and 10 landings done, so I’m almost finished with required night flying.
Amazing to think how expensive flying is to do. Makes me wonder sometimes if this was worth the cost. Then I remember that I was just flying and I remember how it makes me feel and I know I’m doing something I love that is totally worth the cost.
Flight Time: 2.8 Hours
Night Time: 2.8 Hours
Cost: $420 🙁 – Yuck!
May 4, 2011 / Jason /
Categories: Private Pilot Completion
- Total Flight Time: 218.5 Hours
- Pilot In Command Time: 125.7 Hours
- Solo Time: 100.8 Hours
- >50NM Cross Country Time: 60.5 Hours
- >50NM Cross Country Time (Solo): 27.8 Hours
- Night Time: 7.1 Hours
- Simulated Instrument Time: 4.8 Hours
- Landings (Day/Night): 521 (499/22)
- Flight Training Received: 92.8 Hours
- Ground Training Received: 30.8 Hours