Dec 30 2010

50 More Hours and My First Ski Landings

Published by at 8:15 am under cross country,General Aviation

With so much other stuff going on, I haven’t updated my flying blog in quite a long time. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been flying, though, in fact I have over 150 hours in my logbook now.

I’ve learned a lot in those 50 hours since I made my last post. One one memorable flight, I transported a 172 from Merrill Field to Galena. However, I didn’t make it all the way to Galena.

The weather was great when we departed Anchorage, and although it looked like a system was slowly moving in from the Bering Sea, we thought we had enough time to make it to Galena and back.

We had sunshine and blue skies all the way over the Alaska Range, but as we approached Farewell, the ceilings dropped to about 1,500′. After picking out way through low clouds and low hills north of Farewell in rapidly deteriorating conditions, we made the call to turn around and divert to Fairbanks.

It was the right call, and we were able to make it all the way without incident. That was my cross country flight where I had to divert because of weather and that alone was a huge learning experience.

Another highlight came this month when my friend Udo let me do some ski touch and gos from the right seat in his Cessna 170 on some frozen lakes out in the Mat-Su valley. Technically they were my first off airport landings ever, and of course, my first ski landings as well.

It was a really neat experience bringing the plane down on skis. The snow was good, and so my three landings were as smooth as butter. Here’s a fun video that Udo made of our flight with his GoPro camera clamped to the wing strut. Enjoy!

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