Career Magazine

Solo Cross Country Flight Training

By Swayne Martin @MartinsAviation
My instructor is pushing off for Air Force training in a few weeks. With little time left before he leaves, we have set the goal of me doing my first solo cross country before then. This is because I've done all of my training with him, and it will not require more checkout flights with other instructors (which would cost extra hundreds of dollars). 

Arriving at the airport this morning, I was a bit skeptical as to if we'd get to fly. With low, dark-grey clouds at 4,000 ft and turbulence, I knew it was going to be an interesting flight. In addition, there were winds at 9kts gusting to 15kts from 350, it was a little more than we'd normally do. Luckily, because the winds were nearly aligned with our runway (34), we decided it would be good practice. 

Solo Cross Country Flight TrainingThe weather today
Departing the airport, we flew Northwest into the practice area to review some maneuvers for the day. It was moderate to heavy turbulence; some sudden bumps threw us against the top of the cockpit. After a bit of testing, we found an altitude that seemed to work a little better. We reviewed maneuvers including: 
  • Power on stalls
  • Power off stalls
  • Steep turns
  • Slow flight (imminent stalls) 
  • Engine out situations
Solo Cross Country Flight TrainingOur plane (N16HV) next to a parked jet

After our review, we headed back towards Hanover KOFP for some landing and takeoff practice. I was excited to try out crosswind landings again...hopefully to get them down a little better. It went surprisingly well. I got a good hang of flaring in a heavy crosswind. None of the landings went badly, in fact, I was pretty happy with them at the end of the flight. We did a total of 5 landings and 5 takeoffs during our 1 hour long lesson. 

Solo Cross Country Flight Training

I talked with my instructor after the flight and he told me that I was close to going solo cross country. He is going to be out of town from the 16th-20th. So in the meantime, when he is gone, I am going to fly solo West towards Lake Anna and practice re-entering the Hanover KOFP pattern. Hopefully in a week or two, I'll be writing about my first solo cross country flight!Thanks for reading,Swayne MartinTwitter: @MartinsAviation

Solo Cross Country Flight Training


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