Springfield Chapter Missouri Pilots Association

September 2004

Flying Journal - Just a little Summer Flying

The school year is heating up, but I've still managed to get in some good flying. On the way back from Oshkosh, we had stopped in Columbia for fuel. The restaurant was closed on Sunday, but we got fed anyway since the Flight Service Station was serving brats and burgers. They also invited us back for an open house on August 21. I also had a couple friends in the area who were interested in rides in a small aircraft.

That seemed like two good reasons to fly, so I borrowed a friend's Cherokee 6 and planned the trip to good old COU. When I was on the MPA State Board, I had made the trip several times, once even picking up some ice on the approach in January. Ironically, it was a little soupy this time in August, but I waited a while, filed IFR and climbed on top at 7000. Dang, I've got to remember to get some clip-on sunglasses. I have the automatic ones but they don't get really dark enough in a car or plane since the windows absorb much of the ultraviolet light which darkens the lenses. There is nothing brighter than climbing up out of a gloomy cloud deck to the sun glaring on the white tops of the clouds. It cleared up around Lake of the Ozarks and I made the visual approach.

As I arrived I saw and heard some other area pilots taking off to return home. One of my friends, John Quint, met me at the airport and we took one of the last tours of the FSS that day. Having talked on the phone to some of those people for 14 years, it was about time to see some faces and where they worked. It was interesting and informative and my thanks for the tour. Sadly, some of us cynical old pilots suspect they are being extra friendly hoping to keep their jobs in this error of automation and "privatization."

Then I took John for his ride. He enjoyed talking pictures of his house and neighborhood and the nearby Missouri River. I also gave him his first flying lesson. Always a pleasure.

I suppose that was the highlight of last month's flying. But it also included a couple lessons preparing a student for the instrument check ride (BTW, new Instrument Practical Test Standards, incorporating GPS approaches, go into effect October 1). I also gave a pilot I've known for several years but had not yet flown with his B.F.R in a Cherokee 180 and had a lot of fun. Of course he was very worried and hadn't flown much for a few months, but held his altitude and airspeed as precisely as anyone I've flown with. I'm always being reminded that we all have our strengths and weaknesses.

I also worked several hours this month as a ground instructor, again doing prep for that instrument check ride. That's always good for me, because it helps me brush up on all those little things we seldom actually do, like compulsory reporting points and such. Which reminds me to remind all you pilots of what you already know-the saddest thing about flying is how fast we get rusty, so just keep brushing up!

Share the joy, and fly safely, with currency and proficiency!