At the start of the 19th lesson, T informed me that he would be checking me out in the pattern and if all went well, he would just go home and leave me to fly traffic patterns as long as I wanted. CP was able to ride along for this first part.
The checkout went alright, so we went back to the hangar and T gave some last minute instructions and then watched as I started up and taxied back out. There did seem to be some spotty reception by my radio two or three times that day, making it an interesting time to solo.
Well, after I took off, T left the airport, but CP remained to observe. I ran through 6 takeoffs and landings trying to improve each time. Again I improved with each one, so I’m encouraged that more practice will mean more precision. None of the landings was perfect — some were worse and some were better.
On the fourth pattern, I heard a Piper report 8 miles to the Southeast inbound for touch-and-gos. just as I took off. Well, I was making left closed traffic on runway 27, so I knew he would be meeting up with me. On the downwind leg, the controller instructed me to “make a right two-seventy.” I didn’t understand the instruction, so I hesitated, trying to figure it out. He repeated the instruction, and I copied it back in the form of a question, “70G, make a right two-seventy?” He answered, “70G, make a right three-sixty for spacing, start now.” Well, that registered in my brain and I understood, “70G, make a right three-sixty.” So I made a mile-wide circle and reentered the middle of the downwind leg and the Piper and I flew three patterns together.
I noticed on the fifth landing that I was beginning to get fatigued, so I only allowed myself one more. Next time I fly, T will not even meet me at the airport. He will simply give his blessing and I will go practice some takeoffs and landings.