Flight 4: My First Controlled Airport

I took last weekend off from flying to go to a Miami Dolphins game, but I didn’t get too far away from the subject. Every other exit on the drive south seemed to have an airport, I heard two airshows I couldn’t attend mentioned on the radio, the weather was perfect for flying, and the stadium was surrounded by planes towing banners. At least the opponent wasn’t the Jets.

It had been nine days since my last flight (that almost sounds like a confession, doesn’t it?), so I was anxious to see what I’d forgotten. I started off by trying to steer on the ground with the yoke, but other than that the lesson went very well. I talked on the radio for the first time, just to do a pre-takeoff check. In the air, I was glad to see that I was continuing to make progress. I did the stall practice properly this time.

Today marked my first visit to a controlled airport, starting with a touch & go on a 9000-foot runway at Lakeland Linder Regional (LAL). It’s the home of the annual Sun & Fun Fly-In (an airshow that’s important enough to have its own website) and a rather large airport for a small city.

We taxied maybe a mile to get to the airport restaurant for lunch. There was enough traffic that it took about 15 minutes to get a clearance for takeoff. I don’t know what the average wait there is, but I’m glad my training is based at an uncontrolled airport. Visibility was the highest yet, since I was able to see downtown Tampa from over LAL, about 30 miles according to my road map.

Today: 1.4 hours
Total: 4.8 hours

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