It was a big day of flying for me. I completed my second solo flight. My instructor and I went around the pattern a few times, then I dropped him off, got back into the air, then headed to the practice area on my own.
I’m flying out of David Wayne Hooks airport (KDWH, circled in red below) which is under the airspace controlled by George Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH). When I say under, I mean that literally. The airspace immediately over KDWH is from the ground to 2,000'. As we fly northwest, that increases to 3,000', then 4,000'. For practicing stalls, we fly up to 3,500', so getting out from under KIAH airspace is a smart move. Nobody wants a call from the FAA about entering airspace without authorization.
That means it’s best to fly at least 10 miles out before practicing maneuvers that require a lot of altitude. That also means it’s a bit nerve-wracking to head out there on my own. As I told my daughter, it’s like driving on the interstate by yourself for the first time.
Well, I survived. It wasn’t without a bit of drama. The best part were the aircraft I shared airspace with today. I wasn’t able to snap pics for obvious reasons, so enjoy the ones I found online below.
The biggest drama happened when I came back to KDWH. An aircraft which had just taken off requested an immediate return to the airport. The pilot didn’t declare an emergency, but they treated it as one. Air traffic control got busy clearing everyone else out of the way so he could land. I happened to be in the pattern on my downwind leg when it all went down, so I had the chance to watch him turn on final and land. I was cleared to land right after him. Exciting stuff.
Here are the fun aircraft I saw today: