I have 39 hours and it’s been 10 days since that long XC solo. I thought about that flight for a long time in the past week and a half. It wasn’t a bad flight but it wasn’t the easiest either. I’m hoping to work approaches and landings. I need to tighten up my approaches…
The weather is perfect, light winds from the east and not a ton of traffic in the pattern.
I went through the pre-flight, called the fuel truck, and fired up Mike-Hotel. Grant jumped in and we went over to the ideal ramp. He hoped out and I made my call to the tower. I ran a few laps paying as much attention as humanly possible to putting the helicopter exactly where I wanted it on the 1000′ markers. I made sure I cruised at 80%, I made sure I was in trim, I checked my spot when I was abeam… I cleared the outside of my helicopter as soon as the tower cleared me for the option. I checked my lights, gauges, checked my fuel. It felt good to be in the pattern again.
About halfway through one of my downwinds I noticed a Delta 767 taxiing. Huh. That’s a big jet… later I found out that the St. Louis Cardinals fly out of KCPS. Anyway, as I turned final he was on the move… I stayed a little higher than normal so as not to get in his wash. I also noticed a blackhawk had just landed at Hanger 12’s ramp. Awesome. Those things are massive.
I stuck around in the pattern for about 2 hours just drilling making my approaches as perfect as possible. I wanted everything to be repeatable. I focused on keeping the nose as straight as possible, my climb outs at 50kts, my turns in trim. I may have been making left hand turns for 2 hours but it helped me in more ways than I can count.
I called it quits with about 5 gallons of fuel and went and landed. Grant met me out at the ramp and he let fly to the hanger to work on my confined skills.
I shut it down and called it a good day.
That solo work brought me up to 41 hours.