Most memorable experience

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Sport Pilot, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-Flight

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    Wow. Great stories everyone. Thank you for sharing. Some of you shared events that happened 25 to 50 years ago. Remarkable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  2. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    You reminded me of a flight back west from KHPN after an exhausting week of meetings in Boston & NY. The boss owned a Cheyenne IV with the Garretts; he fell alsleep in back. I crawled over the spar and into the RF seat to keep the pilot company, which in itself is a pretty cool place to be as a private pilot. Made even better as it was very early morning hours in the winter over North Dakota and we witnessed the most spectacular display of the Aurora Borealis.
     
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  3. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My best and worst moments came on the same flight:

    Flew to KFFA with my wife. Just a glorious place to go and something any pilot should do at least once. The history of that place is awe inspiring.

    Then, on the way back, I unexpectedly dry tanked one of the tanks and the engine quit. I then realized I had no idea how much fuel I had left In the other tank because I wasn’t expecting to be so low. Diverted to KRDU to get fuel and paid waaaaaaay too much for it. Other tank was really low too. I have no idea how that happened, to this day, except that I experienced more headwinds than I predicted. But I should have had 5 hours of fuel onboard and approximately 4 hours later I was out.

    Lesson learned? Dipstick the tanks and check them at intermediate stops as well.
     
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  4. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    On the day after the 9/11 attacks, I helped fly blood samples from Oakland, CA to Portland, OR in a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182 for the Red Cross.
     
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  5. Wrench978

    Wrench978 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My first solo- I knew it was coming, so my wife (unbeknownst to me) told my in-laws who live about 5 min from the airport. I had an audience, but it was great to have someone film my first landing.

    I also had an aborted takeoff (later in my training) that I handled well. I had an instructor on board and he asked me if Ive done it before because he was impressed with my execution. (7B3- Hampton is only 2100' with trees on both ends)
     
  6. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is he a rapper? :cool:
     
  7. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah he's a ryming rapper!
     
  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That reminded me. Seeing the Hale Bopp comet at night and in the day from the airplane in a dark remote area (Wyoming). Way cool.

    When you did that flight were you doing it from NM or CO/higher altitude airports?

    We burn 2 GPH/hr down at lower cruise altitudes in the 182 and it almost bit me and my co-owner in the butt one day when we spent the entire day slogging along under a 3000’ MSL overcast back east. We landed with a lot less fuel in the tanks than we expected because we Flight planned closer to our normal burn up here than sea level burn.

    We also flew faster than usual all day and never made the correlation between the few extra knots and the fact that Skylanes chew through fuel at a horrendous rate to get five more knots down low. If that. LOL.

    Just a thought.
     
  9. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Negative. Departed KINT (my home at the time) and returned there too.

    I am assuming the issue was that the Archer I was flying had one tank at the tab and the other full, and I somehow missed that it was at the tab. Or, I somehow lost track of time and had been flying much longer than I thought I had been.

    Put it this way - fuel was so far from my mind, I was certain that I had lost the engine and we were going to be putting it down somewhere near I40 in Raleigh.

    Edit: here’s what that looks like in a logbook (this always makes me laugh because there is no way to express terror on paper)

    CE76E667-44AD-485A-8676-18D648518060.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
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  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    LOL! I hear ya. One my last solo XC* a nasty thunderstorm popped between me and home. All my Logbook says is “Landed GXY” next entry is “Flew airplane the rest of the way” on into BJC.

    The reality was I was thinking... I can’t go through that, and if I go around it as far as I should, it’ll be dark... guess I’m landing...

    Called a friend in GXY who gave me a ride and I slept on his couch after calling the CFI who just said, “Good call, we’ve been watching that storm and was hoping you wouldn’t try to get here through it.”

    So my last solo XC had an extra stop in it and a slight pause for weather. :)

    *Technically my last solo XC was flying to my checkride. It wasn’t at my home airport. My instructor joked, “I’m only signing this off one-way, so don’t screw up! Later he joked if something did happen, call and he’d drive up and sign me off to bring the airplane back, but he’d really rather I just fly it home as PIC. Haha.

    Another similar entry many years later reads, “Landed waiting for overcast to lift.” That was inadvertent IMC while VFR and thankfully I had a bit of IFR training in sims and airplanes but not the rating and did the standard 180 and started breathing again when the world came back.

    First time I ever got to try out the Nearest function on a GPS, too. Brandy spanking new Skyhawk fresh from the factory with the King or whatever those first restarts came with. Rented that expensive thing at the time as a treat for a trip. Pushed Nearest, flew to crop duster strip (paved, but nobody there on a Sunday) and just sat there in the plane thinking about how stupid I was for a few minutes after I shut down.

    Used a pay phone at that strip to call FSS to close out my VFR Flight Plan and check on what had happened to the forecast. This crud was all forecast to lift and then burn off. They said it was a couple hours behind schedule. I guess so! LOL.

    Don’t think my heart rate came off the peg until that phone call was over... damned near turned myself into an all too familiar statistic. Amazing too how what looked like VFR cloud clearance requirements met, wasn’t... and that cloud just enveloped the airplane in a heartbeat. Learned a lesson about how a backlit overcast looks a lot further away than it is.

    Flew a lot more years without the IR after that, but never pushed a scuddy overcast that hard VFR ever again. It wasn’t really a low scud fun, plenty of AGL altitude, it was just ragged with little shelves that stuck down. And... Just a simple log entry that I landed to wait it out, to remember the OH %%%% moment by...
     
  11. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Landing an airplane I built at Oshkosh. In a strong crosswind.
     
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  12. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Although my Tango has been to Oshkosh and SNF several times, I've only actually flown it to OSH once. My biggest fear was that I was going to screw up the landing with all those witnesses!!
     
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  13. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I was a witness to an embarrasing landing last year. Actually stood up from my chair along the flightline in preparation to run for my life. A large antique (the one displayed inside the Dept of the Interior's building) groundlooped, and for a couple of seconds it looked like it might be coming my way.

    I was prepared to do my Jesse Owens impression.
     
  14. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've been fortunate enough to experience several memorable moments since I've been flying. Some in the work airplane, and some in a smasher of bugs. In no particular order of memorableness:

    1.First Solo
    2.Solo XC in Alaska, landing at a gravel strip and having to take a selfie as proof I was there for my CFI. I was the only (non-wildlife) being in a who knows how far radius. Most peaceful 15mins I've ever experienced (EDIT: I just realized my avatar is the other picture I took on that flight)
    3.Back seat ride in a P-51 with a F-22 in formation
    4.Flying hurricane relief missions over NOLA after Katrina
    5.First engine failure on T/O in a 707 (400' AGL, just after starting a left turn the #1 ate itself)
    6.National Mall tour in a UH-1

    Hopefully there are countless more to come, and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything!
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  15. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The bad: Seeing the Rayban-wearing face of the 310 pilot looking up at us as he passed 10 feet under us during cruise flight. Yikes.
    The good: The day I received my Private Pilot certificate and the freedom to fly whenever and wherever I want (weather permitting!)
     
  16. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One really sticks out. Had to divert north due to some storms on the way to Oshkosh. Wound up flying over Lake Michigan East to West, with a good tailwind no less. Because of the obvious risk I climbed my poor little Cherokee about as high as it could go. The storms had chased out all the most and smog and all the other crap that is perpetually over Lake Michigan, and drom 12k feet I could see the whole lake, like a little pond, underneath me. Chicago was just a little spot. I’ll never forget that sight.
     
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  17. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Two experiences as a passenger:

    I was six years old, and my dad, a student pilot, seated me in a C-150 and took me on his solo cross country flight. I was told to bend over, as we taxied, so that I would not be seen.

    About forty years later, two days of zero-g parabolas on the Vomit Comet, NASA’s KC135. We were doing experiments.
     
  18. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had it easy. The tower extended me by one dot when I was only 40' or so off the deck, so I descended to 10' and happily floated in ground effect to that next dot. That made it easy to hit the mark!
     
  19. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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  20. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    The lesson I most enjoyed was the first time we did ground reference maneuvers. It was so cool getting a bit low and being able to sense the speed and visuals turning down low.

    After that I'd say solo, then xc solo. Check ride was more relief than anything.
     
  21. Tom-D

    Tom-D Ejection Handle Pulled

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    First time I set foot on the Flight Deck of Coral Sea, 1965, I was in awe, as I stood on the forward area of the angle when 5 RA-5Cs came by at mock, It was after that I understood what the Airboss meant when he said stand by for a high speed fly by to port. can you say "ba-ba-ba-boom"
     
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  22. Jim Rosenow

    Jim Rosenow Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    First flight as a passenger in 1952....returning home to Illinois from the hospital in Iowa City, following successful polio treatment at 5 y/o. Pilot friend of the family had a 195....rumbling round engine, night CAVU, full moon...hooked for life! Lead directly to all the amazing flying experiences that have followed.

    Jim
     
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  23. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-Flight

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    3 most memorable:
    - first solo
    - solo xc when landed at KPSP the tower called out 'Skyhawk123 that was a really nice landing' - never been so proud in my life.
    - acro training in a Citabria when I did spins and loops and seeing - from the corner of my eyes - a rainbow that our aircraft cast on the thin clouds underneath us.

    Hopefully I can add 'passing CK' soon to the list.
     
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  24. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    At time of PPL training, driving near Disney and my son pointing out a plane descending to land (I wasn't aware of Fullerton at that point - only aware of the local area and what my solo XC back in Texas might look like). About a year later, and after purchasing the Tiger, he and I land Fullerton, head over to Disney and also land Catalina. Best trip to date.
     
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  25. wilkersk

    wilkersk Line Up and Wait

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    First time flying the Sonerai. There was no practical way to get "dual" in the Sonerai. So, I just went out and flew it.

    Actually, I put a lot of time into reading about the principles of flight-testing. I started out with some taxi testing. And, I got out on the runway and throttled up just a little to practice keeping it straight. Then, I put together a plan for a 30 minute test flight to determine basic handling characteristics. That left me plenty of time to attempt the first landing. After a couple of attempts ending in go-arounds, I made a reasonably safe landing. The roll out was quite exciting. But, I managed to get it under control. And, I wound up going all the way to the end of the runway before exiting. By the time I taxied back to the hangar, I had an audience. They all were clapping and giving me big "thumbs up". Don't know if they were mocking my go-arounds, or just glad I didn't wad the airplane up, causing the runway to close while they scraped me off the pavement. Either way, it was damned exciting!
     
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  26. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just off the top of my head,

    Close call with an instructor at a towered airport in the pattern with someone trying to swap paint
    First solo on a windy day wondering why my instructor had to pick that day
    Flying my first x-country and praying not to get lost
    Check ride on a cold rainy windy day
    Picking my son up at a busy class C getting wedged between some big iron and being told to maintain maximum forward speed.