Daily Pilot's Journal

Read the complete day-by-day flight log of an actual student pilot, from the first takeoff to the signing of his private pilot's license. Written promptly at the end of every flight, each entry is completely unedited - detailing the successes, failures, and mistakes we all encounter along this long road.
Day 19 - Verbally Abused Over Poughkeepsie
Monday, 7/17/06 9:00am - Slightly hazy, no wind. Today I showed up with my Poughkeepsie flight plan all ready to rock. Soon however, Stan would shoot most of my flight plan down.

Northport to Norwalk was simple enough, but then Stan asked me my ground speed. I hadn't begun calculating distance so I couldn't tell him just yet. When I'd done my flight plan I'd used 20kt winds from 180... this is what the winds were like on the day I'd done flight planning during ground school with him. Since there was no wind today my correction angle was totally off. This brought me west of where I needed to be.

Stan barked at me for not holding proper heading, not maintaining altitude within 100ft of my flight plan (3000ft), and especially, for not being able to see the airport from 12 miles out. I thought he was being a bit stiff, but then again one of his students had just flunked his flight test on Saturday. Basically, Stan was in a bad mood. Or rather, a militant mood.

All of the things Stan barked at me for were things I could correct, so rather than taking him to heart I worked on correcting them. Once at POU I was given a right base entry to runway 24 and came in on a decent enough approach. Floated the landing slightly and was airborne again and heading back to Farmingdale... Stan seemed in a hurry to get back so there would be no TnG's.

On the way back I held my heading and altitude much, much better. Once I concentrated on these things I could easily keep them, but when my eyes went sightseeing (as they did on the way up) I would sometimes lose track. I was able to follow the flight plan on the way back and hit the landmarks at the proper times. Visibility allowed me to see the Northport stacks from 10 miles north of the CT shoreline, so flying home was easy. Radioed and got runway 19 and came in a little high with Stan correcting my early use of flaps. Once over the runway I was in line for a smooth landing but again I was on the left side of the runway (I always do this...) so Stan yanked the controls back and violently aligned the aircraft with the center line. "That's what you get for landing to the left" he told me. A little dick-ish maybe, but his point was taken.

Back on the ground Stan felt a little bad about being so stern. "You did good today", he said to me. "Don't sweat me coming down hard on you, I'm only doing it because I want to make you better. I'm not going to blow smoke up your ass if you're not flying right, I'm going to make you realize what you're doing wrong. But you did good." Yeah, yeah - I know. I learned long ago not to sweat Stan's hardcore tough love. But today I flew cross-country for the first time and with the Loran it really didn't seem all that hard.

Flying hours today: 2.0       Total: 24.9

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