Stage Check 1 – Attempt 1

No aviation joy today, unfortunately, even though today’s weather in northern Virginia is amazingly aviation friendly. The phone rings about 7:26 this morning, and the caller ID photo of Dulles Aviation shows me that the school is calling me. Of course, I answer and it’s Tom, the aforementioned Chief Flight Instructor. Here’s how the conversation went:

“Good morning, Sir!”

“Good morning, Dan. This is Tom. Guess what?”

I peek through the venetian blinds (Q: How do you make a venetian blind? A: Poke his eyes out.) and see a clear blue sky surrounded by motionless trees. So my response is a little confused.

“Ummmm…. we’re on schedule to fly today?”

“The aircraft has a cracked muffler and there’s no other aircraft available.”


We discuss options, including seeing if there’s an aircraft open for tomorrow. I change my mind and tell him I’ll call him later and schedule something for mid week. This way, if I choose to stay out late tonight, I won’t be penalized with being groggy from lack of sleep. Plus, looking at the terminal aerodrome forecast, or TAF (the long way of saying the weather forecast), it’s gonna rain tomorrow anyway.

He says “Sorry.”

I tell him “No worries. If this is the worst thing that happens to me today, I’ll be having a pretty good day. Thanks much! Bye.”

And that’s that. Back I go for another couple hours of somnolent bliss.

The downside is that I haven’t had a lesson since I soloed on the 11th. The upside is that I have more time to review the classroom material before Tom quizzes me. Given my past record as a student, I need all the help I can get!

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