Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings

Month: September 2015

Flight Lesson #2

Went to the airfield for flight lesson #2.  I had been watching the weather and conversing with my instructor and we seemed to be on the edge of being able to take to the skies.  We were looking at 2000 ft ceilings and around 7 kt winds.  This was good enough to do some pattern work but not much else.

As I arrived at the airfield, we both took a look outside and it seemed some of the clouds were lower than 2000ft.  So we did an area weather brief.  We called airports in a 360 degree pattern around our location, taking winds/ceilings/temperatures etc.  We started to notice a pattern.  7-15 kts winds with Gusts to 15-18 kts.  We also noticed that the wind seem to be variable between 330 and 060 degrees.  Our runway is position at 30 degrees so we would be seeing a dramatic shift from one side to the other on landing.  So with 2 strikes on the weather, we decided to work on some ground school, preflight, engine start/run up, and taxi practice in the wind.  There would be no getting off the ground today. 🙁

So this time, I handled the weather brief (for practice) and did the preflight waiting until the end to get feedback.  My instructor said that I completed an excellent preflight and needed no prompting.  YAY!

Next, I followed the engine start procedure.  I performed a brake check, ran the engine up to check magnetos and I completed my first radio call for a radio check.  Today I learned that taxiing is more difficult in wind and at this point it was up to 10 kts steady. I had to learn how to hold control inputs in order to keep a gust of wind from toppling us over.  During this time, I spent way more brain power on trying to figure out the control inputs than I should have but…. what can you do.  I did feel a lot more comfortable controlling the airplane on the ground.  I think I am getting a feel for the steering and brakes.

So, I have .7 hours in my log book and have yet to get off the ground.  I don’t think it is a loss as I am still getting comfortable with basic procedures.  I did cancel my next lesson because the weather is looking bleh.  My instructor wants me to get off the ground for my next lesson.  I agree with this and so… my wait continues.

Almost off the ground, taxi time!

Today I went for my first lesson.  3 hours in total and .4 hrs of it in the airplane.  Not quite enough to get off the ground but got some sweet taxi time. 😉

We started off filling out some paperwork and getting to know each other.  We then progressed into learning fundamentals of the aircraft.  I have studied most of this stuff for years but it was good to hear a different perspective.

Next we called for a weather briefing.  It was early in the morning and there was fog between our field and the practice area so we had to wait a bit.  It looked like we would be good to go in the next 30 minutes so we moved on to pre-flight.

In the pre-flight walk around, we spend a lot of time going over what to do and how to do it correctly. Starting inside of the cockpit, we removed the control lock and turned on the master switch, dropped the flaps and turned on the lights.  Quickly, we walked around the aircraft checking to make sure the navigation lights and landing lights were functional.  After this, we turned the master switch off to conserve battery.

Next we checked the left side main gear, fuel, fuselage, elevator, rudder, flaps, ailerons, right main gear, leading edges of the wings, cowling, front gear, prop, spinner, oil, filter, exhaust manifold, pitot tube, fuel tank vent… and i’m sure a few other things from the checklist that I forgot about.

I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of background on things to look for.  By the time we were in the cockpit to run-up the engine and make sure it was working to spec, we only had 20 minutes left on the reservation of the aircraft.  So my instructor had me taxi to the other end of the airfield and back in order to get a feel for steering with my feet.  It was a weird sensation but it was something that I was use to from flight simulator.

Even though I didn’t get off the ground, it was pretty awesome.  I have my next several lessons scheduled and am looking forward to getting off the ground next time.

First Flight Tomorrow!

I was assigned an instructor this evening and scheduled my first flight lesson for tomorrow morning.  Nervous, Excited, tired….. a little hungry.  It is finally happening! First Flight Tomorrow!

first flight tomrrow

This is totally how I picture myself!

Ground School underway, no flying… yet

Ground school started a couple of weeks ago.  After having a couple of classes under my belt and so far most of it is review of stuff that I already know.  For the past 20 years or so, I have been studying aerodynamics and general piloting skills in my spare time waiting for the day to come.  Don’t get me wrong, I am getting more meat on the bones so to speak, so it isn’t boring by any means.  I feel like I am getting more reinforcement on my understanding of angle of attack, etc.

I haven’t gone up in a plane thus far. 🙁

Seems they are having trouble matching an instructor to my available schedule. Everyday I wait for the email that will free me to lift off into the sky on my new adventure.

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