I was doing my Commercial Pilot Licence in 1994 in Florida and the day came for me to do my long 10 hour cross country flight.
I'd taken off from Lakeland in a PA28-161 and was on my way to Savannah - Georgia. I remember that I was at 10,000 feet because i had to pass over some military trainning area or something like that. About half way through the flight, I had to go. Where do I go know ?
It was hard to think strait too. I thought, ok, how about I land somewere but that was not such a good idea cause it would take me time to land and then climb up to 10,000 again and the time I would spend on the ground too. So, what do I do ?
I had to find something to use, anything. I looked back at the box with the engine oil and other things. If only I could reach for one of those plastic engine oil bottles and hope that it's almost empty too. So what I did was made sure the plane was nicelly trimed out and let go of the controls. I then slowly streached and reached back to grab a bottle. The plane went off course a bit but nothing to worry about. The only reason I did this was because I was very high and if something did go wrong I could still have time to recover the aircraft.
Ow good. Now I have an almost empty oil bottle. I was so happy and as I undid my zipper, I had a look around outside the aircraft, incase anyone was watching. Can you belive it ! Anyway, that was the end of that and then I landed in Savannah for a bit to get the weather, have a coffee and another piss and off I went again to Tallahassee.
On the way to Tallahasee and after landing there, all was ok. After getting in the plane for my last leg back to Lakeland, I forgot to contact Ground Control and got the information over the radio and began taxing to the runway in use. I lined up behind the line and contacted the tower for take off.
"Did you contact ground control 123?" the tower asked me.
"No I didn't, sorry about that, 123" I replyed feeling like such an ass.
"123, make 180 deg. turn and then turn left to runway 15!" Tower said.
"Roger, 180 and then left turn 15" I replyed.
I made the 180 turn back but then instead of turning left I turned right and I saw a 737 taxing at me! I thought, what the hell is he doing? , and then I saw him adding brakes cause the nose went down and then up.
Tower- "123, TURN NOW 180 DEG, NOW!!!"
I turned and didn't even say anything.
About 15 mins before reaching Lakeland I saw a very big storm infront of me. Infact I had to get lower cause I didn't have an instrument rateing. The clouds got lower and lower and darker. I estimated the lightnning infront of me must have been over Lakeland and I run into some light rain. I saw below me passing Zephyrhills airport and then quickly told Tampa that I was going to put the plane down at Zephyrhills.
Tampa Approach- "That would be wise 123, good day."
I put that plane down in no time. After landing the storm came over Zephyrhills and it was bad. It went all night and had to go to a hotel and fly out the next day in the morning.
Thank you for reading my story.