Saturday, September 02, 2017

Flying - First Flight As A Private Pilot

For my first flight as a licensed pilot, I decided to do a scenic local area flight.

It was a beautiful day and both my own weather checking and then the weather briefer confirmed it and I was good to go.

I pre-flighted Archer N8570F, my first time flying this plane. N1689H is for flight students and training only, not for renters, an interesting change in status.

Winds were 5-10 knots from 60-110 degrees so I did a very long taxi to runway 9L and did my preflight and got clearance to takeoff and head south.

Yep, it was fly over your neighborhood as a private pilot time.

The plane handled fine, and does have a bit more oomph with only the pilot on board.

I flew over Orchard and Cass Lakes, flying over Orchard Lake St. Mary's Campus.

Then on over north into Pontiac and I flew over the decaying Pontiac Silverdome, complete with its parking lots filled with Volkswagens from the diesel emissions scandal.

Seems like a terrible waste of good cars to me, sitting in parking lots wasting away. I'd take one, slightly higher emissions and all.

Then I overflew Oakland University.

And on up to Romeo and the proving grounds.

I flew around a bit more and headed back to Pontiac, where I did a really beautiful landing on 9L with winds at 10 knots out of 110, so barely any crosswind correction was needed at all and it was nice and smooth. I then parked the plane and was amazed to see all of that was only 1 Hobbs hour (Ok, I was quite aware of time aloft all the way through, but it was neat to see how short a time it was).

1.0 and 1 landing. Next time I think a relatively short cross-country to maybe Lansing, Bay City, or Charlotte is in order.


Comrade Misfit said...

What is this "weather briefer" of which you speak? I don't believe that I've talked to one in over a decade. Even on my last really long x/c (about 850 nm), there were computers at each airport that I used to log into DUATS. When checking the weather from home, I've been using DUATS since soon after they offered it as a dial-in service. And I've used it exclusively since Lock Mart made a hash of the FSS system.

Aaron said...

I do like calling them and having a recorded conversation where they state no TFRs on my route of flight as well as having them confirm the weather is suitable and matches my assessment when I've already checked weather-wise before calling them.

Old 1811 said...

Congratulations! As someone who started and never finished the process in 1979 (time and money), I've been sorta living vicariously through your posts.
You've worked hard for this, now enjoy it.

Scott said...

Hey Buddy - Lansing or Charlotte, I'm there for you if I'm not working.

juvat said...

A bit of unsolicited advice. Start working on your instrument ticket. The ability to fly well on instruments is much like the pistol analogy. You don't need it, til you need it. Then you need it bad. There WILL come a time when for a vast myriad of possible reasons you find yourself in instrument conditions. You will come down. Whether you and your airplane are intact is dependent on your skills. It's even more important when people you care about are on board with you.
I'm not saying you need to invest your next 100 hours of flying time towards that goal, but every once in a while reserve an IP and tell him you want to polish your instrument flying skills.
It'll be time (and money) well spent.

Flugelman said...

Congratulations Aaron. I well remember my first flight as a newly minted Private Pilot. It was also a Piper product, a Cherokee 140. I flew halfway to SeaTac with a 1/4 notch of flaps before I realized why I couldn't get it up on the step. See, I had trained in a Piper Colt, sans flaps, and just forgot.

The advice on the instrument rating is spot on and I would add aerobatics training to spice up the flying experience as well as allowing you to experience the limits of the airplane's capabilities.

Aaron said...

Old 1811: Thanks, it was certainly a long, uphill, and atypical battle, but I finally made it.

Scott: Working on it.

juvat: Yep, an instrument rating is on the list of to-dos pretty soon. Need to save up for it a bit first and get a bit more solo cross country time in first. Will likely do it in parallel with another flight student friend of mine who also got his private rating recently.

Flugelman: Funny, the flight school I'm with insists on takeoffs having the first notch of flaps in and people have been known to forget to retract on occasion so when you fly the pattern and get to midfield to lower to the first setting you're already there. The instrument rating is on the list and aerobatics will be part of the menu as well.