Learning Experiences

February 2002 Issue

Too Much, Too Fast

“I was about three miles out ... when the student in the back seat said, ‘Uh, guys, that Learjet looks kind of close.’ ”

Last week I was scheduled for my second solo flight, and I arrived at the airport (a controlled, class D field) ready and willing. It had been a rainy day up until that point, but the weather had broken, and it was now clear VFR with 10 miles of visibility and a scattered layer at about 6,500.

It was 4:00 pm, and I figured that I could get in at least a good hour before sunset. My first solo the day before had gone splendidly and I was feeling confident in my abilities to go up and do it again. I got my weather briefing, preflighted the aircraft, a 1998 Cessna 172R, and was all ready to start her up when I was interrupted.

My instructor, who had been in the pattern with another studen...

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