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Accomplished a major goal in my Aviation career today

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Posts: 6,112 Senior Member
I've been flying OH-58's (small scout aircraft) to remote areas (in actuality farmer's fields contracted out for landing) for the past few weeks to practice terrain flight and navigation. This week I finally had the opportunity to touchdown on top of a cow patty on my instructor's side.

It's the little things in life.
- I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski


  • JermanatorJermanator Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    Awesome! Now you have hit the big time.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • samzheresamzhere Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Was the cow patty along for the whole ride or did you acquire it as a trophy to celebrate your solo landing?

    Either way, congrats!

    Ages ago, I came into a bit of money, and as a young guy, naturally I squandered it on flying club membership at the University. We had a little Cessna 160 (small, solid, single-engine 4-seater, high wing). Located in Wichita, Cessna had a program at the time -- they may still -- that "sold" planes to Kansas schools for flying clubs and other things, the planes essentially gifts for tax purposes, great publicity too.

    So we at Univ of Kansas (Lawrence) got a nearly new "demo" model and it was wonderful. Anyone who's a bit familiar with small private aircraft can attest to the reliability and air-worthiness of a Cessna. Not fast, not fancy, but workhorses, and very easy to fly. I can't compare since I've only flown that one plane and don't have much experience in other private planes, but I've been told that a well-maintained Cessna is like gold.

    But I totally know how fun (and a little scary) it is to solo for the first time, and I can appreciate how terrific shotgun feels. About halfway through the runway for takeoff, you think "I'm insane! I can't fly an airplane! Help!" and you continue past that, mostly for avoiding the embarrassment.

    On a totally different scale, Tom Wolfe talks about test pilots and astronauts. They don't really worry about being killed. All they want to avoid is doing something stupid, and "screwing the pooch", die or not, it's being seen doing the dumb thing that frosts them. As per Gus Grissom (whom I had the great honor to drink a beer with at the Cape), when he blew those bolts from his Mercury capsule (excuse me, "spacecraft"). Fact that he nearly drowned was inconsequential by comparison. And no, that incident was taboo. We only talked briefly about his upcoming Apollo missions. Sigh.

    Anyway, thread drift, sorry.... once you're in the air and have to adjust your flaps and trim and throttle and not plunge straight down into the sod 200 feet from takeoff, you then think "I'm King! King of the World! I'm top of the world, Ma!" (Cagney in White Heat if you're wondering)

    This is because, in a small plane like a Cessna, in daytime good weather (mandatory for first solo), once in the air and stabilized, it's quite easy to steer, swoop, turn, bank so long as you stay inside your flight "window" and don't stall. And major fun. Like first time having sex, first time riding a motorcycle over 100mph, stuff like that.

    And then you gotta land. Which instantly sets off the warning buzzers in your brain again "What am I doing here? I'm nuts! I can't land this thing, I'll crash and die horribly and worse, my friends will see me crash and be angry that I wrecked the group's plane! Help! Help!"

    Then of course you manage to land without doing something dumb, and immediately, you're back in Hero Mode, "I'm bad! I'm soooo bad!"

    Congrats, my friend!
  • shushshush Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Well done young man, :cool2:
  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    My father talks about air-to-ground gunnery training for his B-17 crew in central Florida, where farmland was rented and fenced off, and junked military vehicles were spotted for the aircraft gunners to shoot at on a low pass by the bombers. The local farmers would break down the fences to the range and drive cattle onto the field. If the gunners happened to shoot the cows, the government paid a considerably better price than the cattle would bring on the price-controlled beef market. He said it was always a problem, trying to keep his guys from shooting at those moo- - ving targets!
  • snake284snake284 Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Well SS3 you have joined a great fraternity. Congratulations! I haven't done it yet, but my dad was a WWII Pilot in the Eigth Air Force Army Air Corp. He flew out of England and Belgium in a P-51 D. His first cousin was also a fighter pilot in a P-38. I used to love to listen to those two talk, mainly because my dad wouldn't say much to the rest of us about their experiences, but felt comfortable talking to each other. I was a young kid and it must not have bothered them that I was around.

    And Sam, My first sexual experience was more for bragging rights but nothing to write home about, LOL!!! And I have NEVER Ridden a motor cycle over about 10 MPH. My dad didn't approve of vehicles with less than four wheels. However, I did get to fly in my friend's dad's Super Cub a few times. Now for an 8 year old kid THAT was a trip. However all the times I have flown in an airplane, I have never gotten to drive. :driving::silly::roll2:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Posts: 8,811 Senior Member
    The OH-58 is a nice ride. First chopper I ever rode in. You just redefined when the poop it's the fan, on a large scale!!:fan:
  • PFDPFD Posts: 1,898 Senior Member
    So did that make it a crappy landing? :jester:
    That's all I got.

  • samzheresamzhere Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Well, understand, snake, my folks weren't too keen on my having a motorcycle either, but it was cheaper than a car and I started off with a little 90cc popper. The fast stuff, the Kawi H1 and the 750 Ninja, came long after I turned 21.

    Sex? As they say, even when it's bad, it's pretty good, and my first time was on a beach at night in La Jolla Cal.

    Driving a small plane is a real hoot! They are sadly a rich man's toy, then and now, but as Woody Allen said, the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on.
  • TeachTeach Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Driving a big plane is a hoot, also! So far, I've managed a little bit of left-seat time on two of 'em, a B-17 and a B-52. No takeoffs or landings, just a little time spent steering!
  • 104RFAST104RFAST Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    Have fun, Beat the air into submission.
  • NNNN Posts: 25,235 Senior Member

    Good job Rotorhead. Did you get him to get out?
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »

    Good job Rotorhead. Did you get him to get out?

    Exactly what I was thinking, and obviously the reason you set her down like that! Good Job Matt.....now you can fly for a news station!......:tooth:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
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