Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Week Forty-Two: Cross Country

You guessed it, this week's post is all about our T-38 cross country, which we did this past weekend (hence the late post). This was a pretty cool experience, and a helpful one. Because this cross country sees us a little wiser when it comes to instrument flying, the weekend went much smoother than the T-6 cross country. The locations, however, were a bit subpar, but not horrible.

We spent almost the entire week planning and preparing, finishing up our last couple of instrument rides that would opt us for the cross country. This involved dividing up the labor so that each of the eight of us would complete different tasks and help everyone out. We also started thinking about ideas of where to go. Originally we had planned to go west, staying the nights in Phoenix and Denver. This would have been a pretty awesome time. I would have been able to see family once again, and overall those locations are just better then where we ended up.

Due to budget and maintenance issues, we were told we'd be doing the "Texas Tour." Essentially this meant we would be limited to flying around Texas and staying overnight both nights there. Because the T-38, especially recently, has shown a tendency to break down, the distance we could travel was reduced significantly. So Fort Worth would be one of our full-stops, and Houston the other. Only THAT was changed as well, so we would be staying in Oklahoma City the second night. Yeah. Super far on this cross country.

I'm not complaining, the flying was still good and the lessons learned were good as well. We saw a wide variety of instrument approaches and conditions, and there were two night flights as well, which were awesome as always. I got to shoot two radar approaches, where the controller tells you where to turn and when to descend for the entire approach, maintaining contact with you every five seconds or so. We also saw Class B airspace, which for anyone who doesn't know, is the busiest type of airport airspace there is. Think Denver, Chicago O'Hare, or JFK. The margin for error in airspace like this is much smaller, due to the huge amount of traffic and the amount of professionalism expected.

Overall the weekend was pretty awesome. My IP was great and I did a pretty good job, so that makes it a successful weekend regardless of our destination. Yeah, I would have liked to get out of the Midwest for a bit, but we still managed to have fun.

I got back Sunday afternoon to find that I was scheduled for my first formation ride on Monday. As of this writing, I have flown in formation in the 38! But I'll get into that in the next post.

Take care and have a good week.

~ Dakota

No comments:

Post a Comment