A lot of things happened during my lesson today! We did some review of somethings, we did instrument training, and we did an emergency landing (almost).

During review Tim asked me to do a power off stall. I realized that I had learned how to get out of a stall, but I did not study how to cause the stall. So that got me a little off my game to start. But no worries there, getting out of the stall is no problem.

Next we did steep turns, 45 degree angle of bank, these were actually a lot of fun for me! I was pretty decent at it for my first try, so I hope we do a lot more of these.

We also did some instrument training. Tim handed me some super sexy glasses called foggles. They prevent me from looking out of the airplane and only allow me to look at the instruments. The actual training wasn't too bad, but I did not enjoy that my view was taken away. I love flying for the ability to see everywhere and enjoy it. I also felt a bit awkward but oh well.

Next up, Tim shut down my throttle, and my reaction was WTF, well not really I knew it was coming today. In the future I imagine, I will probably have a WTF reaction. So with no engine, I needed to make a emergency landing in a field somewhere. Luckily we live in the midwest and there are plenty to choose from. We are having some flooding though, so my choices were a bit limited. So I chose a field, and headed for it. Then I freaked a bit, I think Tim did most of the flying here, but I am not sure, like I said I was a bit freaked. So it appears that I could have landed there if I wanted to (which I didn't) so we were free to go-around. Woohoo, I can use the power again, no more plummeting to my death.

We landed, check listed and taxied back to the FBO. Once we arrived at the FBO I admitted that the emergency landing had me a bit freaked. Tim was not surprised by this (thankfully) and agreed to work on it some more with me during the next lesson.

It appears I am about ready to take the Stage I exam. I guess that is my weekend plan.

Hours logged today .9 (IFR .2)
Total Hours logged 4

More Stalls, slow flight and fog

10:55 AM Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This morning I was scheduled to go out at 7am. At about 6am Tim let me know that visibility was too low and we wouldn't be able to fly. I was heartbroken, I was really looking forward to it. Well by 6:45 it was clearing out and he still has some time, so I headed to the airport. The ride there was pretty yucky looking so I wasn't sure I was going to get to go up, but low and behold about 3 miles from the airport it was sunny and beautiful.

We did all the pre-flight stuff and soon we were in the air. Today was awe inspiring to say the least. The sun was glinting off the bit of fog that remained in the air and I was reminded of how lucky I am to be learning to do something that makes me so happy.

We climbed up and did some work on stalls. We started with the Power-off stall which we had done once before. It seemed scarier today for some reason, I guess because I feel more comfortable in the airplane and I am able to think more about what is going on around me. I think I over thought it as we were setting up because I felt my heart rate skyrocket. Of course everything went fine. We did a couple of power-on stalls as well. Today was the first day for those and they were interesting. Not a big deal to do or pull out of, but definitely something I need some more practice on.

We also worked on slow flight. Which is flying the airplane at its minimum sustainable airspeed, in this airplane it is 50kts. By using pitch for airspeed and power for altitude, you need to maintain the airspeed for 50kts and the altitude of 2500 MSL. I was not so good at keeping it to 50kts, I wanted to pick up speed because we felt like we were going to fall out of the sky (granted I know that doesn't happen).

I am hoping to go up again tomorrow at 7:30am. We are working on emergency landings, that should be interesting to say the least.

Hours logged today: 1.1
Total hours logged: 3.1

100 Hour Inspection

9:33 AM Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today, I am sad. I haven't gotten to fly since Friday due to tiling our laundry room over the weekend and work priorities on Monday. I was supposed to go up today but Tim called to let me know that the plane we had scheduled was getting its 100 hour inspection, and therefor we couldn't take it today. I rescheduled for tomorrow evening but it seems really far away. I was really looking forward to flying today.

So weather plays a big part in my training. On Friday, we went up and came right back down. We knew storms were coming, we could see the clouds, but you never really can tell how quickly they are going to be at your doorstep.

During Pre-Flight, Tim walked up to the plane and said that we might have to make it short today. By the time we had loaded up, started up and were taxing to runway 21, we were both thinking that maybe it would be a real short ride. By the time we had done our runup, we thought wow that storm looks really bad. By the time we were at the end of the runway on liftoff, we decided to change the lesson plan for the day. Touch and Go's it is.

Round one, pretty bumpy and windier than any of the other rides. But all went smoothly as far as procedure. The crosswind made landing more troublesome and since I am still pretty new, Tim did the majority of the landing.

Round two, bumpier and windier yet, Tim still landed. We actually came to a full stop on this round, took a look at the dark looming clouds headed for us and decided that we could fit one more round in. This required a back taxi since we were in the middle of the runway.

Round three, those clouds looked scary, we brought it down, did a post landing check, and taxied back to Carver Aero. We parked the plane. Shut her down and closed her up. As soon as we had gotten inside and started reviewing the skies opened up. It rained lightly on my way as I was driving away from the storm. The brunt of it hit my house about 4 minutes after I got here. It was also nice enough to knock out our power for the next 20 hours.

Although I didn't do much flying during my lesson this time around, I think I learned something much more valuable. Watch the weather, it can sneak in, and it can kill. This time around I am thankful Tim was watching as close as he was, and next time around, I will be sure to watch just as close.

My First Flight Lesson

4:00 PM Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today, I went up for lesson number one. After my intro flight yesterday I couldn't wait to get back in the air. We did some overview of the lessons I read overnight (all 180 pgs of them) and then we discussed how the runways were laid out and how the wind affects which runway we take.

Next we did an extensive pre-flight. Going over everything in detail and why we go over each part. All of that made perfect sense. Next we got in and went over the start-up procedures (while sweating buckets, it was 100 degrees in the parking area). With the start up procedure finished, we listened to the weather and picked our runway (03).

After taxing, we did a quick runup, with all systems go we back taxied and lined up for take off. Full throttle, 60knts and a pull back on the yoke and we were flying, climbing t0 1200 ft at around 75knts. We did some "straight and level" (if you can call it that) flying and worked on some turns. I have a tendency to bank too steep, but I am working on it.

After a while, Tim said, take her up to 2500 feet and do a clearing turn. So I took her up and did two 90 degree turns to ensure I was clear. Then he said we are going to practice a stall. WHAT!?!?! "Tim, you do remember this is my first lesson right?" He said I would be fine so I prepared to stall the plane. Tim took the controls and walked me through the steps and showed me how to react at each step. It all went very quickly. But he brought down the throttle, put down the first step of flaps. As our airspeed slowed he put down the second step of flaps. And then the third. As the stall alarm is going off, inside I am panicking, but outside I am trying to pay attention to what he says. The controls get sloppy and over goes the nose, I am tempted to throw my hands up and scream like a roller coaster, but I know that isn't the correct reaction as we are plummeting for the ground. Pull back, throttle to full, flaps up, climb to 2600 ft, fuel pump off. Yay, we didn't die! Now Tim gives the controls back and says make it happen. Oh, well, then, this should be fun.

So I survived the stall, I am happy to say. Next up, as if that wasn't enough excitement. Time for some touch and go's. Three landings later. I am not entirely ready to quit for the day, but my time is up. A quick taxi back to the parking area and a post flight check and shutdown and we are good to go.

Friday = I might have to land by myself, eek!

Yesterday I went for my intro flight to be sure I wanted to continue on and get my license. Well of course I did. I forgot how much I love to fly! The intro flight went well. We did some ground instruction and pre-flight then we got in and had some fun. We did some straight and level flying and some turns. Just a quick half hour in the air which went by really quickly. When I left my mind was racing with information. I couldn't believe I just flew a plane, I was so immersed in learning that I forgot to enjoy it. I will have to work on that for next time.

My trainer is a Piper Cherokee 140 and my instructor is Tim. Tim is pretty new at the instructor thing but I am willing to give him a shot since everyone has to start somewhere.

Getting Started

10:43 AM Thursday, July 15, 2010

In just a few short days I will start my journey to obtain my private pilots license. This dream has been 20 years in the making and I am very excited to get started. Flying is in my blood, my Grandpa, Dad and 2 of my uncles fly and I am excited to say that I will be a 3rd generation pilot in my family.

My first lesson is scheduled for Tuesday, July 20th. Look for my next update then, and be sure to follow my journey as I learn to fly!