Monday, August 03, 2015

First Flight Lesson AFR

So this morning I headed over to Flight 101 for my first lesson. The clouds were looking pretty low and overcast so I was worried it was going to be a washout.

I met up with my instructor, Sean and after some paperwork we headed to the plane. By this time the clouds had become scattered instead of overcast so the flight was now a do-able proposition.

We went over how to do a pre-flight and following the checklist he demonstrated and then I did each step.

During pre-flight you follow the checklist and go over the entire aircraft to make sure all is in working order. Far better to find out if there is a problem on the ground rather than in the air. We checked all the control surfaces, inspected the fuel to make sure it was free of contaminants, the fuel quantity, and the overall condition of the entire aircraft.

There was indeed a problem we found during the pre-flight.

The nose-wheel strut was way too low and the airplane actually had a downward angle.

So to another plane we went, Papa Romeo, the same plane I did my intro flight in.

Papa Romeo unfortunately was also having some known issues and most likely was going to pose a problem, but we decided to try it as the other 172s were already signed out. The problem was N755PR was not starting period, even with a charger cart so it was off to door number three, and Papa Romeo ended up getting taken in to the mechanics.

So we went and tried door number three:

Third time was the charm and I had my first lesson - in a complex aircraft no less - a Cessna 172 RG. The RG stands for retractable gear. I didn't do any of the complex parts, Sean handled the prop control and the gear.

Sean handled the radios, did the takeoff and we were up!

He flew us out to the practice area. We went up to around 3500 feet and avoided the many and wispy stratus clouds. We had a bit of turbulence but nothing serious.

My first lesson consisted of learning straight and level flight, banks to both left and right, climbs and descents, and trimming the aircraft for climbs, descents and straight and level flight. Sean said I was quite smooth and did quite well. He also said I did a good job of regularly looking outside the aircraft and doing clearing turns before any maneuvers.

The first lesson was a lot of fun. The standard bank angle feels a lot more banked than standard but once you're doing it yourself, it feels pretty normal.

It was a great first lesson and I can't wait for lesson #2.


Murphy's Law said...

Next time Sean lets you do a banked turn, get your airspeed up and go for 60 degrees and lots of back pressure at max power...give him something interesting to talk over with the other instructors.

Seriously, good job!

juvat said...

"It was a great first lesson and I can't wait for lesson #2."

He's hooked!

Keads said...


Aaron said...

ML: I suspect you are telling that story based on past performance and you should retell it sometime.


Juvat: Oh, I am indeed.

Keads: Thanks!

Old NFO said...

Yep, there goes the gun money... LOL

ProudHillbilly said...

Heh. See you at Martinsburg's airport!

Aaron said...

Old NFO: Yes, gun buying is now on an indefinite hiatus until further notice.

PH: It will happen! Gonna take awhile as there's a ton to learn and do before I get there, but it will happen.

Mcgyver said...

Dumb question, but do you have flight simulator? I have a great article from the AOPA magazine for new pilots. I send it to a friend who is also beginning flight school.

Aaron said...

Mcgyver: I do indeed have flight simulator. If you feel like forwarding on the article, you can email it to (after getitng rid of the spaces) shekelblog @ yahoo . com