Thursday, August 13, 2015

Flying Lesson #2 - Takeoff, Eh!

Lesson 2 continued the awe and wonder of Lesson 1.

This would be another lesson full of firsts.

We were going to take up N73455.

This time I was sent out to do the pre-flight myself from start to end. I followed the checklist from start to finish. Then Sean came up after observing me from a distance and asked me what I had found.

I noted the left tank read empty on the gauge and had only 5 gallons in it after checking it with the fill stick and the right tank had only 10 gallons.

Apparently I passed the "Are-you-paying-attention-during-a-pre-flight" test. That was a good thing. So as the plane was refueled we talked about the lesson plan for the flight.

Once fuelled, I again checked the fuel sumps for any sign of water in the tanks and visually verified the tanks were full.

I then got to start up the airplane all by myself, following the checklist. That was pretty cool to actually be able to handle the process and see how it really worked after reading about it.

And this time I got to rock the radio.

The first time you're on the radio to the tower it sounds something like this:

Ok, it was not quite that bad.

I got on the radio to listen first to the ATIS and then dialed in the airport ground control, asked to taxi, received clearance and we headed to the runway.

My first radio clearance.

Steering a plane is a bit weird - the wheel, it does nothing.

Instead it's the rudder pedals that control the steering on the ground, which is going to take awhile to get used to and be able to effectively control.

My first taxi.

Then at the run-up area I did the pre-takeoff checklist by myself. After the run-up I radioed the tower that we were ready to go. We got clearance which was first a bit of a mess as they gave us an IFR flight plan for the previous flight of the aircraft which was confusing as hell. But we got it straightened out and we were cleared to take off and depart VFR to the northeast.

My first run-up.

I then taxied us onto the runway 27R, smoothly added full throttle and then rotated and we were up!

My first takeoff.

It was rather bumpy up there today with quite a wind.

After climbing to 3,500 we headed over to a practice area and practiced rectangular courses, with the wind pushing us all over. I learned about crabbing into the wind and bank angles aplenty - it's one thing to read it in the flight manual, and another thing to do it. But I did it and apparently decently enough.

After doing it a few times, Sean indicated we wouldn't do S-turns or turns around a point as the wind was just too much for an introduction to those today.

Sean noted I did a very good job of keeping the plane level even with the wind gusting us all around and was pretty happy with my straight and level flying.

So we did some practice with climbs and descents and trimming for each, and then headed to the airport.

I got to handle the radio and call in our approach. The tower initially wanted us to call them back at 2 miles but when we hit 5 miles called us up and directed us to go straight in and cleared us to land.

I flew us down to 1,500 feet and then Sean took over for the landing.

I then got to call ground after exiting the runway and got us a taxi clearance back and then I got to taxi the plane back to base.

That was Lesson 2, 1.2 flight hours of some very intense concentration and awesome moments.


Keads said...

Great! Thanks for the review of Lesson 2.

Brigid said...

That's great! If you haven't got your student pilot/medical certificate yet, do so. I figured I'd have time before solo and due to the doctor's schedule actually had to delay the first solo a couple of weeks to get the medical. Make sure you ask for a combined student and medical and not just a third class medical.

You'll love it!

Murphy's Law said...

Rock on, man.

Aaron said...

Keads: Thanks!

Brigid: Yep, I got the third class/student medical cert before I started taking lessons. Just about ready to take the Private Pilot written test so I can get that out of the way as well.

ML: Thanks buddy, you'll have a capable co-pilot soon when we're on our next flying adventure.

juvat said...

Dude! Good goin' on the preflight. Sounds like you've got a good IP.

Another one of those old Pilot sayings.
"The only time you can have too much when you're on fire."

Enjoy it, you only get one true first solo.

Murphy's Law said...

I dunno, man. If you fly like you drive...

Aaron said...

juvat; Thanks! I'm pretty sure I've got a good instructor - he makes it all look easy and he's good at explaining the hows and whys.

I'm a real long way from a solo, but that first takeoff was very cool.

ML: I know calm competent professionalism drives you nuts. Can't wait to see you when I'm flying the plane.