During my previous visit to Florida, I completed almost all the commercial requirements related to night hours, except for one: a 2-hour cross-country flight. I had hoped to fly it, but circumstances prevented that flight.
This time, it seemed like the flight was finally going to happen. I checked the airplane in advance, ensuring we had full tanks and enough oil. I made sure that nobody would fly the airplane after that check.
The aircraft had just come from maintenance, and I was set to fly with my instructor.
So, off we went. We double-checked everything, went through the necessary checklists, and taxied to the runway.
During the take-off roll, the airspeed was increasing but suspiciously slowly. It was more than 500 ft, but we still had only 45 knots. As the numbers climbed to 45, then 47… The runway was long, but not endless, so we made the decision to abort the take-off. We safely stopped well before the runway end, but I estimate the actual speed was more than 70 when the decision was made.
Encountering a system malfunction is never a pleasant experience. To be honest, I was slightly scared.
We taxied back, but I still wanted to fly if possible. The weather was good, and there were other available airplanes in the school. So, we still were able fly!
The flight turned out to be good. Contrary to my expectations, it’s not hard to see clouds at night, and we were able to maintain our altitude well below them.
We flew to KVNC and requested flight following. For some reason, the controller diverted us along the shoreline, around class B airspace.
The return flight also skirted around class B airspace, but on the East side. Firstly, due to weather avoidance, and secondly, because it’s fun to fly a different route.
I really enjoy night flying!