I finally got to take my first flight as a Private Pilot on Saturday February 5, 2011. I had a bridal shower in Naperville, IL so I figured if the weather was nice it would be a perfect chance to take a quick flight, get some cross country time and pilot in command time.

I took off about 11:30am after a quick pre-flight and visit from the fuel truck. I hadn't flown since my test (about 17 days) which is the longest I had gone without flying since I started training. So to shake a few cobwebs I took a trip around the pattern to make sure I still knew how to land. Good news, I did!

I departed the area to the east and headed for bolingbrook, IL, Clow International Airport. This was also my first chance to use my iPad with Foreflight. I had charted my course via paper sectional and in the foreflight program and came up with the same headings, and almost the exact same times and fuel burns which had me pretty impressed with both myself and the foreflight program. I planned to fly east to the Joliet VOR and head into Clow International via the 041 radial. That plan went flawlessly! I hit the VOR and turned toward clow and descended to avoid the Class Bravo airspace around O'Hare. I came in on runway 18, which is the smallest runway I have landed on to date. Yay! First flight was successful and I really enjoyed it despite being a bit anxious, which I think if I am ever not a bit anxious it might be time to give up flying :)

I went to the bridal shower, which was, well, a bridal shower. Then I headed back to the airport. I opened the door to the plane and my heart sank. I pulled the newest of newbie moves and left the master switch on, I could still hear the gyros running. I quickly flipped it off and hoped I had enough battery left to start the plane. I did a preflight and hopped in hoping it would start. Of course it didn't. So I had the nice guys at Bolingbrook jump it. Despite feeling stupid, no harm done and not the worst mistake I could have made.

After the jump I sat a couple minutes to make sure I was getting a good charge from the alternator and all was well. So I headed out.

I departed to the west, staying under Class Bravo airspace until I was a few miles to the west. I headed up to 4500feet and enjoyed the view. It was a bit hazy on the ground but the sunset on the way home was beautiful! It was truly a reminder why I love to fly. No where on the ground could you get the same effect as you do in the sky at sunset. My only regret is not having a decent camera with me to catch the moment.

I landed back in Davenport right about 6pm, my first night landing in a while. It was a good one and I happily taxied back to the ramp and gathered my stuff. All in all it was a successful flight and I learned a very valuable lesson. I am looking forward to the day where I don't end my post saying that, but I plan to learn forever, I just hope my lessons stop making me feel like a noob at some point.

Below is a picture my sis-in-law snapped before I headed home.

Also, I would like to note that next time I will just have them plug the plane in and charge it that way for about an hour. The jump isn't worth the hassle or potential problems. Just consider it another lesson learned.


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