This could describe so many aspects of today’s flight. It could describe me, I mentioned that I was woefully unprepared mentally for this flight and so I was on edge.
Edgy could also describe my flying in that it certainly wasn’t smooth or polished but it all turned out OK, I guess.
Confidence-wise I’d taken a little step backwards, I was uncertain about the weather conditions, spooked by the fact that I might have to dodge low ceilings in order to find a space in the sky to work in. I’ve gotten over my fear of cloud, I’ve been in situations where I’ve dodged around it, under it and even a time where I simply had to turn around and come back because of it, but winter cloud brings other concerns and the thought of ice accumulation brings me out in a cold panic-sweat. I was on edge for sure.
My circuit flying was pretty crap as well, I forgot I was meant to be in the circuit to start with and then just didn’t get back in the groove. Not helped by 360 turns for spacing or long final approaches due to traffic.
It all turned out fine though, despite some little quirks. I’m back to fiddling unnecessarily with power settings and the like and my flying wasn’t as smooth as it has been but nothing I would even quantify as a mistake.
The fact is, and I need to constantly remind myself of this, I make good decisions when I’m in the air. I evaluate and respond well to situations. Today had some great examples of this. On the way out , there was a little lingering cloud hanging around the airport, so on my way out I levelled off my climb just a little bit at 1400ft until I got passed it and then resumed back up to 2000ft, just until I could be sure that it wasn’t an issue.
Coming back I got the ATIS and then went to switch to Tower, as I pulled out the squelch on the radio, I was greeted by a horrific screeching sound. It sounded like the heterodyne you get when two people are trying to talk at the same time. I wasn’t sure if the radio was broken. Well, Ok then. I know that at least one of my radios is working; I just got the ATIS on it. I dialled in Tower on the other one, still the same noise, well let’s try it anyway and see what happens. If not then we’ll start an orbit and decide what to do from there.
I made my call, it clearly went through as they got back to me fairly quickly. Strangely enough I didn’t feel the relief I expected to when they replied, which means I obviously wasn’t too concerned in the first place.
See I can cope with this stuff, I am safe, competent and on the right side of cautious. I just need to remind myself of this. Constantly