This post is the first of several posts I'll be writing in the next few days to catch the blog up to where I'm at right now in my training.
About a week and a half ago, I completed my cross-country solo flight to a towered airport. It was a location that my CFI and I had flown to on a dual cross-country once before so, it wasn't my first time to the airspace but I was a bit nervous about being able to line up correctly once I got in the pattern.
On my previous solo to a non-towered airport, I had thought I was coming in to cross mid-field and ended up actually lining up on a right base instead (it was a left pattern). I had a similar snafu on the way back to my home airport and, instead of entering the pattern on a 45 degree for the downwind leg as I had self-announced, I ended up overshooting and coming right in on a base leg.
Fortunately, all my worrying was for nothing.
The flight there was a non-event. My checkpoints were good and I made good time. It was 60nm there and the same back so, it wasn't a quick trip and I had some time on the way to play around a bit with my altitude (up 100', down 100', now hold it there. . . that sort of stuff that I tell myself helps my skill level but may just help keep me focused on the flight).
About 3nm outside the airspace, I tuned my radio to the ASOS. Nothing. I kept it on that channel until I was almost in the airspace and then gave up on it and tuned to the tower frequency.
"Kinston Tower, Helicopter 991KC, student pilot, 10 miles to the North inbound at 1300' for 3 touch and gos in the pattern"
"Report left base for runway 5, 991KC"
After that it was all pretty straight forward. I did my three touch and gos and got cleared for the option on each base leg. When I had done my last round and was on the crosswind leg. . .
"Kinston Tower, request departure to the north, Helicopter 991KC"
"Helicopter 991KC, continue on course"
And away I went. The flight home was peaceful, uneventful, and just an all-around blast.
I'm really starting to get comfortable in the air and my confidence is really growing. I wouldn't say I'm confident in my abilities, but I am confident that, outside anything unexpected, I feel like I can actually fly helicopters!!
I'll catch up some more on my lessons/flights since then in future updates but, as it currently stands, I'm possibly going to do my checkride the middle of this month.
I'm nervous and psyched all at the same time.