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13601 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Adventures of a pilot in training in his own words.
Its amazing how even after 20 hours in the air my perceptions of flying are changing after every lesson. I have had some amazing moments in my training that I thought was topped with the feeling of accomplishing a solo flight around the pattern. My last lesson showed me I still have so much to discover and so much fun can be had in the training process. Jeff and I got a chance to go “somewhere” after the longer then expected landing practice I finally got to go to Air Lake in Lakeville for some short field take off and landings. Eager to leave the pattern again Jeff and I went on an adventure to Air Lake, Northfield, and then some hood time to Belle Plaine. I didn’t know what to expect when Jeff said that he sometimes couldn’t find the landing strip.
It was easy to see why. The field is tucked above a short bluff and some houses by the Minnesota River. We came upon the field with less then a half mile noted in the GPS and I couldn’t find the strip. Jeff stated plainly “look down.” I could then see this strip carved out of the corn – the only green part of the land. It looked more to me like a good Par 4 instead of something to land the Jabiru on. I’ve been so used to operating in the concrete and corporate land of Flying Cloud that when I realized that airstrips smaller then Stanton exist. Flying Cloud is a welcoming airport but it’s easy to be in awe of the variety of traffic.
I got to follow a standard left traffic pattern and come in for a soft field landing. The strip seemed very short and not that wide. It also didn’t have a center line something that I was used to for lining up the nose of the plane. We dropped in just like a standard landing and Jeff showed me the small amount of throttle to add after clearing the threshold. When we touched down I was amazed at how soft the ground felt and how quickly the plane slowed down.
Keeping the back pressure on the stick to protect the nose wheel seemed very natural- almost like walking on pebbles with bare-feet. We kept the power high to back taxi up the field and I realized another one of those Aviation Truism’s hold through. Landing on the small grass strip makes all of the green surfaces in the world more friendly and approachable. Landing in a field doesn’t seem that bad. It’s also so amazing to drop beneath the corn and use someone’s back of their house as a judge on how far off the ground you are.
My Sport Pilot Training has been amazing and everyone at Hummingbird is so welcoming to the novice. I continue to look forward to each lesson and can’t wait until Jeff shows me something new.
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