After weather, aircraft maintenance and scheduling delays, I finally flew my first solo cross country yesterday. I went from
By the time I did my briefing with
I had planned to cruise at 4500 feet but clouds kept me down to 3300. That made my ground speed a little lower than I planned. Still, I crossed my check points no more than a couple minutes later than expected. My only problem came when I got to JVL. As seems usual for me, I didn’t see the airport until I was almost on top of it. I let the tower controller know that I didn’t have the runway in sight. He said he could see me and that I was on a good base for runway 32. That gave me the clue I needed and the runway popped into view like magic. I had low sun right in my eyes as I headed west and that didn’t help. Still, I should have seen the runway sooner.
My landing was uneventful, which is good, and I taxied to the terminal building to park. It was now about 3:45 and the terminal was closed so I had the parking area all to myself. I shut down, locked the plane and went inside a small vestibule that was unlocked. I called Flight Service to close my flight plan then called my wife to let her know I was running a little late and then Sandy to let her know that I was on the ground but would be heading back very soon and should be back before dark. I did a quick preflight and checked the fuel tanks then started up, swung around for my run-up and called ground for taxi clearance.
All the taxiing, preflights, run-up’s, taxiing again, holding for landing traffic etc. take time so, it was just almost exactly 4:00pm by the time I took off for the return flight. The clouds had disappeared by now so; I climbed up to 5500 feet. I had a bit of a tailwind up there and my ground speed was about 20 knots faster than before. Again, I hit my checkpoints without any problem. As I got closer to
I admit I had been a little nervous about this flight. My main concern was that I wouldn’t be able to find the airport at