Flight 20: Low Ceiling Solo Work

Today I did another local solo. I was going to work on some ground reference maneuvers, but the air was bumpy enough that just holding an altitude +/-100 feet was enough work. Visibility was down to 9 or 10 miles, the winds were OK (8-10 knots), but the biggest problem was the clouds.

On the ground I saw blue sky with a few little clouds, but at 1000 feet the clouds and haze formed a fairly solid layer above me. (I’m not sure why the sky looked so clear from the ground.) The lowest clouds were at 1600 feet or so, which made for a fun hour of reviewing the rules to stay legal.

Most of the area I was in was Class G to 1200 feet, so I only had to remain clear of clouds, but close to that area the Class E starts at 700, where I have to stay 500 feet below clouds. A couple of miles in the other direction, the Class B (where I can’t go at all) starts at 1200, and a few miles past that it starts at the surface.

About where I have to stay below 1200 to avoid Class B, the city below would probably count as a congested area, where I have to stay 1000 feet above everything. (At least we’re close enough to sea level that there’s not much difference between above mean sea level and above ground level.) It gets confusing, but I got an hour in with less than perfect weather without hitting anything. Confidence building and getting used to being in the air alone are the primary things I’m working on now, and today was good for those.

Today: 1.1 hours
Total: 22.6 hours
Total Solo: 2.2 hours

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