Saturday, September 20, 2008

All Checked Out

Ever since I got my pilot's license, there has been one particular plane that I have been wanting to fly ... the 1978 Grumman Tiger that I bought into with Greg. (And yes, this post is in orange in honor of the Tigress.) She arrived one fine Tuesday afternoon in July, but neither Greg nor I could fly her immediately because of insurance requirements. Fortunately, Charlie, a member of our flying club and Tiger owner himself, had enough "Tiger hours" for insurance purposes to take us around the pattern that same night.

For a more complete story of her arrival, check out Greg's blog:

Jodie and I enjoyed the views from the backseats, while Greg co-piloted.

Afterwards, we celebrated (on the ground) her arrival in style. Note how the Canadian beer is much more complimentary of the Tigress' colo(u)rs. Coincidence? I think not... :-)

As July slowly faded into August, I managed to get myself invited along on another backseat flight. (Greg and his Dad needed weight in the back of the plane, and apparently I was more appealing than a large case of bottled water). After Greg and his Dad got back from OshKosh, we ducked out of work early one night and I got my first views from the front seat. (I know I've already posted this photo, but I just love it.)

Two weeks ago, the urge to go flying once again became more than we could bear (it's amazing how this always seems to happen at about 4 p.m. on a gorgeous afternoon while in the office), so Greg flew us out over Harper's ferry.

But it was last Sunday that I was really looking forward to. I met Pat, a CFI (certified flight instructor) and Tiger specialist at Gaithersburg for my first flight as PIC (pilot in command) of the Tiger. We did a thorough pre-flighting, talking over some of the differences I could expect from a high performance, low wing airplane, and then I took off. It was love at first flight. The difference between the Tiger and a Cessna is like a Civic and a sport's car. She's incredibly responsive, she's fast, and the views are just incredible.

Pat and I went up to the practice area for slow flight, power off stalls and steep turns, did a few take offs and landings at Carroll County, and then headed to York, PA for brunch. When we got to York we learned, however, that the restaurant was closed. So, it was with slightly empty stomachs that we made our return trip to Gaithersburg. After landing, we agreed to meet again soon to finish my checkride (I think Pat could tell I was a little eager to be signed off!)

On Wednesday, the air was as smooth as silk, and I bounded out of the office shortly after 3 to meet Pat. This time, we started with power on stalls and slow flight, but then focused my flying time on emergency landings and "advanced" techniques for dealing with cross-winds, and high/fast/low/slow approaches. Before we left Carroll County, Pat informed me that he was comfortable endorsing my logbook for the Tiger.

I'm pretty sure I was smiling all the way back to Gaithersburg.


At September 26, 2008 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Amy baby, your tiger is so beautiful. Congrats! I can see it's love at first sight. Keep up the entertaining blog - it brings a smile to my face every time :-)
Miss ya!


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