It’s been a long while and a lot has happened since my last post. It’s been a bit of a tough week this last week as I didn’t pass my progress test which has meant that I am a bit behind and it has taken a while to sort out. However, I re-sat it today with the Chief Flight Instructor and he passed me with a good score! Without going in to too much detail, I should say that I had some issues with my first examiner which have been dealt with, and now I can put that week behind me and get on with my flying!
Other than that the solo navigation exercises have really kicked in, and I am spending a lot of my time flying from waypoint to waypoint around the desert on my own! We also started our night flying with our instructor; one lesson of circuits and one navigation exercise. The first lesson was amazing, the world looks so different at night, and there are a few new challenges you face as a pilot. Aiming for the runway is the same as before because you have the lighting, but it is very difficult to tell how high you are when you are waiting to touch down, and it comes as a surprise when the wheels hit the ground! For our night nav we flew down to Tucson International airport, which was easily the coolest place we’ve been so far. We were taking off and landing amidst 737s, and on arrival we were directed to their very nice ‘Executive Lounge’. On the way back we did a transition over Phoenix Sky Harbor airport at 3500ft agl which was also pretty amazing. Plus we get to do 2 solo night circuit lessons at some point.
We also made it down to the Grand Canyon last weekend. We left Phoenix at 3.00am and arrived in the town of Sedona in time to watch the sunrise, which was nothing short of spectacular. Then we continued our drive further north to the Canyon and spent the day there, before journeying back for dinner in Flagstaff, and watching the sunset in Sedona. The scenery en route is stunning, as you watch the desert change in to the big, red, rocky outcrops of Sedona, and then the lush mountain greenery of Flagstaff, before the very unique Canyon itself. It was a great day out, and we are hoping for another this weekend as fingers crossed we’ll be heading up to Seattle to visit Boeing field.