Yesterday I completed my flight review, which made me more anxious to fly. I wanted to get in the air to scrape some of the rust off my piloting skills. I knew any time that passed from my dual-instruction flight with Marcia would be deleterious.
Today’s weather was perfect for flying: few high clouds, light wind nearly paralleling a runway and comfortable temperatures. Kirsten hadn’t been flying with me for a long time, so we scheduled the airplane for an afternoon flight.
After the preflight checklist we taxied to runway one-eight, did the pre-takeoff checklists, and took off. We flew over Portland at two thousand feet before turning south and flying the coast. Kirsten snapped photos while I communicated with the air traffic controllers, did my instrument and area scans, trimmed the plane to keep it coordinated and settled, and tried to remember everything I might be missing. It was both fun and taxing (which is part of the allure).
Occasionally Kirsten would use the ForeFlight app on my iPad to tell me where we were (the windows helped with this, too). It certainly wasn’t necessary, but was fun.
The most exciting part of the flight, for me, was flying out to Boon Island to see its lighthouse. I’ve seen the beacon from shore many times, and have always wanted to see the rugged light up close. Flying out over the water was a bit eerie, but gorgeous and truly awesome. The ocean is vast and flat and mysterious.
I really wanted to practice my pattern and landing skills, so we flew to Biddeford Municipal Airport (B19). The runway there, two-four, is three thousand feet long and seventy-five feet wide and surrounded by tall trees. The first landing was long. I didn’t want to risk a take-off without sufficient runway, so we back-taxied to the approach end for the take-off. We went around the pattern again and did a touch-and-go before returning to Portland.
At Portland we did a full-stop landing after right traffic on runway one-eight, then taxied to the ramp via golf and charlie. We completed the requisite checklists and I tied down the airplane. Phew! It was a gorgeous, exhilarating, educational and tiring one and a half hour flight.