Tuesday, 1 April 2014

No good deed…

…goes unpunished. So here I am the very model of a cooperative student pilot.  I’ve made my radio calls at the right time; I’m ignoring the other idiots on frequency and am doing exactly what ATC have told me to do. And I’m doing it quietly. Despite the fact I’m fairly certain ATC have further instructions for me.

And how do I get repaid for this? Do I get a pat on the head? Do I get a luxury, priority approach to the runway which has somehow been paved in gold?

No such luck.

What I get instead is the person landing in front of me getting a flat tire at the most awkward point it would be physically possible to get a flat tire. Thus tying up the main runway and the secondary but more into the wind runway.

ATC issue the instruction for me to “pull up and overshoot”. Initially I get a little confused as technically I’m above circuit altitude at this point. Once I figure out that she just wants me to overfly the runway, I’m fine.

I politely decline the offer of orbiting over the city as I don’t think my arms can take another wrestling match. I orbit in the downwind as instructed, Bob reminding me to drop some RPM and flaps to avoid chasing my own tail. I’m offered runway 24, I’m momentarily confused; I know that 26 is kind of on the limits crosswind wise.24’s going to be nasty.

Bob confirms my thoughts “110 degree crosswind”

Again I’m having trouble processing that. I think we call that a tail wind. I’m not happy taking a tailwind on 26, 24 is shorter and the approach is ickier. No thank you

I orbit for a while, and then I kind of remember I have someone in the back. I smile and cheerfully inquire as to how he’s doing, trying to reassure him that this is completely normal and I do this kind of thing every flight. I get the impression that he’d prefer we were in the ground sooner rather than later.
ATC inform me that the wind has dropped to a mere 8 knots. I decide to give it a go. It’s not the prettiest landing I’ve ever pulled off but the video looks better than the memory in my head.

And at least, taxiing my way back to the apron, I succeed in following the taxiway and don’t take a stupid wrong turn, unlike the last time I landed on 24!

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