Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Up We Go.......

The day started out a little cool, but turned into a beauty, clear sky's and plenty of sunshine. A great day for a little day dreaming. I got to thinking about my old flying days, and a few of those "stark terror" moments that I recall. When I was still a student pilot, my instructor (The Crazyman) told me that since I had enough hours logged and had done good on my radio work that I needed to fly into a "controlled airport" in other words, one that had approach control, a tower and ground control, all requiring separate radio frequency's. I was ready for it! I took off  for large airport about 40 miles from us, contacted approach control to let them know of my intentions, so good so far, then with the airport in sight was told to contact the tower. They put me in the pattern for the active runway. No traffic chatter on the radio so I knew this would be easy. Just as I was turning on to short final, the tower comes on the radio  and says that there is a DC 9, right behind me and to "make good time and turn off at the first taxiway" These tower guys don't kid around, so I went to full flaps and crossed the fench at 70 knts, rather than the 55 to 60 knts Cessna recommends. The tires squeeled and smoked as I touched the runway, then I stood on the brakes to slow her down enough to make the first taxiway, as soon as I turned I looked back and the DC 9 landed! Too close for me, because if I had missed that first taxiway, we would have made the nightly news. I was having a Coke in the pilots lounge gathering up the courage to fly out of there and I get a call from the tower. They said that the DC 9 had a sick passenger on board and they had put him right behind me, sorry if they made me a little anxious, but I had done an outstanding job. (Whats a few more grey hairs!) When I got ready to fly back, the tower put me number one for take off, in front of an L1011. Guess they were still feeling a little bad!!
I used to keep a journal about my flying experiences. It was a great hobby, one that was made even better by an understanding wife.

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