This is a hoot! (TRUE STORY)

Picture this. You just turned 17 and Saturday is your first cross country. One of my best friends Nephew, sent this to his parents on Sunday. He got his Private Pilots License today and this e-mail is a HOOT!


Andrew’s story of his FIRST Cross Country Solo

After setting 4 different alarms in 15minutes intervals Andrew slowly

gets out of bed at o dark hundred. After seminary I thought I would never
have to get up that early again. After I got ready and put my weight and
balance sheets, flight plans, nave plotter, calc, and the other trillion
things scattered OnTime floor away. Lee and I checked the radar and weather
on the computer. Perfect!!Not one green yellow or red spot in the whole state
of FL. I’m off in thePorsche and start taking the beach route to the airport.
I brought my cameraand here’s the beginning of sunrise so I get out and take
a picture. There were bunch of clouds so it wasn’t as good as it could be. 20
minutes down the beach I see the clouds clear and the sun start to come up
over the water so I pull over at Lauderdale at the beach. (Road construction
on A1A) and quick take another two pics. well I unlock the Porsche with the
key button and try to start it…but guess what the key won’t turn in the
ignition :frowning: Get out of the car and hit the lock button to lock and unlock the
door and alarm. Doesn’t work. I make sure in park yes is. forfeit into drive
then back to park still doesn’t work. (Key won’t turn in ignition unless in
park) None of these things work so I start reading the 200 page manual. It
starts talking about hitting the lock-unlock button a certain amount of
times. I do different combinations going in and out of the car about 15times
meanwhile the girls in bikinis are all staring at what they think is a bimbo
who has a Porsche and can’t start it. After I read 100 pages of useless info.
I decide to call lee for any unknown safely mechanisms that they fail to
mention in the book. Before they leave for the day and I am stuck here. Well,
Where is the phone? Avoiding the girls I ask an old man and he gives me
directions. I get tooth phone and wipe out my phone card. 1800…slap, the
no seeums are out. I had not been bit in 2 weeks and now they decide to come
out. So I dial180050677951172117702563485919577744152045 and listen to the messages…in other words 10 minutes of calling card fun and getting eaten alive. I called Mary who tells me that sometimes you have to move the
steering wheel. I conclude that is the problem since it has happened to me
before in other cars. it was…the ignition in the Porsche isn’t evennear
the steering wheel and the wheels were straight. I get to the airport and
around 7:15. Get a weather briefing after waiting 15 b/c I am on hold. (I
really hate phones by now) The report is great vis unrestricted, ceiling
none, winds light and var all good until about 3:00 when t- storms develop
like they always do in FL (reason for going early)…I do the rest of my
fightplans and of course have an instructor check them. The problem is, the
instructor, I have to check them. He is what you call a perfectionist and
likes to take his time. He gave me 4 hours of testing for the two day aprband
I knew everything cold. (Meanwhile the latter in the afternoon you get the
more chance of weather)…of course he wants weight and balance for the
plane that has 4 seats and one person. Am I that fat? Also the take off
distances for the airplane…yea like a 172 need a 10,000 footrunway. I take
off at Pompano Air Park at 9:05 to immokalee where the alligators roam (NO
LIE). I take a picture after my take off. Lost the CT tower open my flight
plan (means if you are more than 30 min.late search and rescue is sent out
along with channel 7 news so everyone can watch you beautiful landings.) The
Flight to IMM is perfect Hit my checkpoints to the exact minute. 40 minutes
later land at IMMtaxied and take off again. From IMM I go to Stuart but not
direct because Lake Okeechobee is in the way. So I fly over Pahokee, which is
in madchaos…A I MEAN MAD. No control tower (CT) so they have a common
traffic frequency. For all traffic. Well, Andrew decides to pick the time
when they are doing parachute jumping. So while everyone is stomping (talking
on top of another) on the radios releasing a high pitch sound in you hears. I
am trying to locate all the sits that are given over the high pitch sound.
Also locating traffic in all directions that might influence me (which is a
lot so many that the frequency is bogged). Still I make it though with
perfection. Go on to Stuart (sua). During this leg I decide to radio flight
watch (enroute weather)before talking to SUA’s CT. Just in case you know
T-storms would magicallyappear… out of where… GE…lol…Well yeah then
they issue a convectivesigment (Which includes wind speed on ground excess 50
knots, Embeddedthunderstorms, Hurricanes, Tornados, more than 90% of area
more than level 5T-storm) Mom stop reading here…:slight_smile: So I start taking to
Stuart’s CT and hetells me to report left downwind for 30…OK lets put it
in simple terms.Because gyros have magnetic error you have to change the
heading indicatorevery so often. I didn’t and started in pattern for the
wrong runway. I callthe CT when in pattern and say, “Stuart tower 63012
is downwind for 30.I thought I might have heard him wrong b/c I saw an x on
therunway I was in pattern for. (x means closed runway). I find the real 30
and amvery high so I set power to idle (I love doing this) put the nose down
and set30 degrees of flaps. By this time the CT tower announces to everyone
Iwas in patter for the wrong runway thanx…I come in very hot but manage
aperfect landing. Taxi to the ramp and run inside to close my flight
planbecause obviously I am not going to go from SUA back to PMP (home)
becauseof the weather. I call WX brief and (were you get the weather to) and
Iwait 15 minutes for a person to answer and then realize I forgot the tail
numberfor the airplane luckily before the preflight briefer answered the
phone. Sohang up run outside and go look at the tail number. Call again and
wait foranother 30 minutes. To find out my instructor canceled it already for
me. ThenI get the weather to see how long before I can get back to PMP.
Sheadvised me to go west over the ocean route then come in thought the
stormbetween the two storm sigments. (Which move) and could come together so
shesaid stay in contact with “Flight Watch” so I can get enroute
weather(while taking to Palm beach approach, CT and Boca Raton CT). While at
the FSS(Flight service station (waiting area)) I meet a couple that are also
on theirway to Fort Lauderdale. He was a double CFI (not only instructor but
alsoInstrument instructor) and said that he was going to wait the storm out.
Then Icalled American flyers they told me it was clear and I should be able
to comeback…I decided to stay and not risk going though any t-storms. I eat
lunchand talk to the couple from Lauderdale. The wife asks me if I had any
troublecoming in for landing. I’m like o no they must have been listening on
the radiowhen I was landing. She tells me that her husband did the exact same
thingas I did! Two in one hour I wonder how often that happens at that
airport.(Very confusing). While waiting in SUA; I watch a leer 31 land,
talkto the pilot, watch a banner flyer drop off his banner and pick one up
andwatch Tiger Woods totally suck it up in playing golf. Pick upthe banner
was particularly interesting. The airplane has a hook onthe bottom of the
empennage and the airplane must go around 5 feetabove the ground and hook the
string to the banner after hooked the pilot goesup at Vx (maximum angle of
ascent without stalling) and is on his way.After this I call Lee who says to
say cool for another hour andmy best bet would to go west (inland) and go
around the T-storms. So I goand decide to take a picture of the airport and
leer jet while I am waiting. Itake a picture to find out that there isn’t
even any film in the camera!!!No temple trip, sunset anything arrhhh! I go
back in and we look at theradar. There is a hole but the storm it is now
moving straight toward theairport that I am at, at 38 knots. Then comes the
mad dash from hell. Ifwe don’t leave before it hits we might be there
overnight. I do thepreflight and everything and follow the piper to the
runway. We both take offbut they are far ahead of me and I lose track. I
turn right traffic andCT “63012 what is your direction of flight?”
me " I will bedeparting to the sss ,BANG (lighting), West… 012”
On theway back was a fairly good flight of course I had to make up myflight
plan as I when along what time I get to each check point calculatemy ground
speed then find out how many miles away my next check pointis and then
estimate the time in flight to the next check point. Then alsomy heading to
each checkpoint (taking into consideration wind direction, speedand then
magnetic north relative to true north) But luckily I dideverything perfect
and land safely and PMP. All this in only a half a day howinteresting:)