While this may not apply as much to those of you who already have a Cirrus or other low wing plane, you never know…
A few days ago I was practicing high-performance take-offs (rotate at 50kts, 45 degree bank at 20agl) in my 260SE at one of the few uncontrolled airports left in so.cal.
I had been there about an hour, diligently annoucing my position at all the key points even though I was the only airplane around.
Well, getting ready to take the active I scanned final for traffic. I gave it a real look, or so I thought. I’ll never know if I should have looked even more. I then prepared to take the active.
What I didn’t know was there was a homebuilt who decided this uncontrolled airport would make a great place to practice his engine outs. He must have turned base at the threshold, even though I was annoucing every 30 seconds or so, so much that locals were probably making fun of me. Point is that for some reason, I decided to check Final one last time just as I was about to turn down the runway. There he was. Holy S#$% !
I was able to cross to the other side and he landed and then took off before I could ask him to tea and cakes. Never a radio call, at least not on the correct freq. (Yes, I kept checking mine to make sure it was right - you never know when a knee can hit the swap button on a Garmin)
My point is the same one I made four months ago. To everyone on this forum: BE EXTRA SAFE. You can bet I am second guessing myself about my initial check of final – did I really look carefully – I think I did, but after 7 touch and go’s and nary a word from anyone maybe I got complacent. Or, what I think happened, which is he was blocked by my high-wing since he was flying an incredibly non-standard pattern (namely a 15ft long final)
I’ll never know. But you can bet I will ALWAYS stare a little bit longer from now on.
PS – Would skywatch have picked him up? I think it would, but have heard about blind spots.