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Flight: LTG-2012-1006-2 in N12556 (Penny) for $
KRYY - KCNI (flying time 0:18)
After watching biplane & helicopter traffic and chatting with lots of cool folks, and full of way too many sides and desserts (not to mention the awesome meats), it was time to get ourselves home.
From KRYY (McCollum Field) 2012-10-06 21:23:40 to KCNI (Cherokee County Municipal Airport) 2012-10-06 22:05:48 [00:18:00] with 0 day and 0 night landings.
Laura Thorburn-Gundlach (pilot-L) / David Thorburn-Gundlach (PIC-legal) / Madi Thorburn-Gundlach (passenger) / Quin Thorburn-Gundlach (passenger) /
Laura specifically instructed me to file her IFR flight plan with a request to practice the NDB 05 approach and then to run the radios, which was good, but I *still* screwed it up. She didn't ask for an update and we had been flying through this already, so I didn't specifically get the 3k winds -- but we got to see that she in fact wasn't sufficiently cognizant of them. Then, once we were fired up and ready, I notified ground that we were 'ready to open our flight plan' -- and she told me to call flight services! Confused but compliant, I got out the cell phone while also learning from her that we could do our runup while holding short before departure, and so off we went. It was hella-hard to try to get to Clearance Delivery Services even while taxiing because I had just before put away the headset adapter cable, but in the end we didn't need it because our slip popped out in the tower -- and she called us to clarify that we wanted IFR because she thought we had meant VFR. I don't recall anyone else talking to ground or clearance ever specifying 'IFR', but you can by-God bet that we will do so from now on!
Oh, and there was another fun tidbit... Although we had just talked about runup, she had someone taxi down right behind us, which seemed odd. Since we were effectively blocking the entrance taxiway, I called up to notify her of someone behind us to see if there's anything we should do, and she said that we just have to take it as it comes or some such, but in the end it looks like they were there for the same thing because they squeaked behind us, went a bit past, and then turned for probably their own runup. They were out of our prop stream, though, so I quit worrying about their windshield and gave Laura the go-ahead.
We got to have another bit of fun before landing, too. Laura wasn't sufficiently compensating for crosswinds (another fun thing to note for later), and so we were mebbe a mile right of course as we were on the way to the NDB. ATC noted such, canceled our approach clearance, and vectored us around to try again. Now here's where it gets interesting... I don't know if I mis-copied the clearance, failed to say 'full approach' in the filing and on the radio, or just assumed, but as Laura was lining up we fell off of their radar and so he advised me to switch to KCNI CTAF. I kept listening on COM2, though (to have an idea of how busy he was when I would want to call him to cancel as we were on final), while Laura went through the full approach -- getting to the NDB, turning to head out, going through the procedure turn, and getting established inbound (which was basically where we were at the start). At that point, I heard ATC asking if we were still around and so I switched over to reply ... and he asked what we were doing and said that they kinda like to know where folks are going to be. [Hey, I thought he said he couldn't see us! :-] But we were following the procedure right from the plate; he should have known exactly what we were doing! Hrmmm... Another thing to ask one day, and meanwhile from now on we will always specify and then confirm the full or somehow-abbreviated approach to avoid this sort of confusion! Anyway, it was only a moment or two sooner than she had planned anyway, so she had me cancel then to close our flight plan and off we went for a lovely landing, even though we were scratching our heads yet again. Talk about 'always learning'!