So I soloed to the Scituate training area today. Steep turns, Slow flight, stalls, power on stalls – I’m pretty sure all to better than PTS. VFR and within my personal minimums but quite hazy. I used the VOR for real to get back to the field when I came back from 12 miles away. (The GPS was also set up but I used that to find the edge of the Class C airspace rather than to find my way home).

Then at Providence for pattern work – soft fields in high density altitude conditions. Providence offered me 16 or 23 the wind was calm (the active was 23) – I said whichever would work best with their operations. They put me on 16. I think they decided to give the controllers a work out with crossing landing traffic. So I made 16 MINE for 50 mins. Softing down (well after the first couple) and softing out. The softs outs – after a couple I really got her wheelbarrowing and then catapulting out of ground effect at 80 knots. It was a blast. I’m required to do full stop and taxi backs on solos but Providence were having fun too and had me doing taxi backs on 16 rather than drive all around the taxiways. It was like I had my own little 3000ft strip at Providence today – just a bit of runway 16 (which is actually 6081 ft long). I never used more than 2000ft of it and more often than not I was stopped in 1500ft.

Then on one pattern there was a jet for 23 pretty close behind as I was midfield downwind for 16. “Two Sierra Juliet – please make this a tight one” from the tower. I couldn’t resist – I pulled a landing pattern from Commercial Rating which I had done with Greg a while back. I pulled the power, pitched up for flap extension speed put in full flaps then pitched down and SANK the plane 1000ft in a U turn around the spot to put her on the runway in a short field landing in no wind to help stop her. I was a little high at the bottom of the “U” and pitched up for 62 knots so the plane sank harder. Then pitch forward for 65 as I completed the “U”. Still a little high. Was going to be embarrassing if I had to go around and so force the jet to also go around on 23. I slipped gently. She sank more and I picked the 1000ft marker as my short field point. The plane positively sank on the point as I pitched up for 62 knots and then flared her to soften the “plant it” landing. She dropped firmly but gently onto her gear and I stopped in 500ft without hurting the brakes at all. I think I surprised tower because it was a while till the jet did show up! This was fun and flying!

Another pattern and in to the school and to brief my instructor. 6 landings in total. We sign me off for the examiner tomorrow after going through my logbook to pick out the required experience to put on the form. Till then – I’ve to book a plane every three days or so and solo to stay on top of it till the examiner can get to me. Just call the instructor and agree the weather is suitable in advance. Examiner possibly Saturday or more likely early next week.

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