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It was such a nice day today and I heard Winchester's AWOS say that winds were calm, so I asked my daughter Brooke if she'd like to go flying with me. By the time we finished our preflight inspection, winds picked up to about 6 knots. I explained everything to her so she'd have a better understanding of what was going on. Unlike everyone else in the family, Brooke has never flown in any kind of aircraft at all, so today was special. I had her test the brakes on her side of the plane, and we taxiied to perform a smooth runup check. Then, we departed the airport on runway 14 and headed to the south. Brooke was surprised how different everything looks from the air, and how difficult it could be to figure out where you are. I was relieved to hear that she didn't think flying was scary at all, but lots of fun. I had her put her hands on the yoke to feel how it works - she said "that's cool." We flew over the large fishing lake in Clarke County, over the Shenandoah river, then over Apple Mountain to show her our neighborhood, where she was able to spot our two lakes and trace the road to our house. Then we flew over Front Royal and the quarry on the north end of town. When we returned to Winchester, I explained how the airport's traffic pattern works as I flew in to land. I was able to nail the numbers on each leg of the pattern, and touched down for a smooth landing.

This flight: .8 PIC hrs, 1 landing.
Total to Date: 84.1 flight hours, 26.0 PIC hrs, 220 landings.

By the way, I listened to Adam Curry's DSC#370 podcast in which he takes a flight around Guildford, England in his C182. One of his magnetos failed the check during engine runup. Each cylinder has two spark plugs powered by separate magnetos, and pilots look for an excessive drop in RPM while they cutoff each magneto independently. An airplane engine should be able to continue performing adequately, even if one magneto lost power during flight... the concept of safety through redundancy. Adam had a safety pilot along who tells us some of the things to do for further diagnosis, such as leaning the mixture a bit to burn off any plug fouling. In this case, they were unable to clear the problem and took the plane to a mechanic to get it fixed immediately. It turned out to need a spark plug replaced. It was a bit of a challenge for me to understand the British voice in the control tower there. I also noticed that they give the altimeter reading in millibars. Thanks Adam for taking us along for the flight via podcast!