Monday, February 20, 2012

A suprise at school

     My buddy Chris and I got to school this morning around 8am.   After we had been there for ten minutes or so one of our class mates came through the door.  Pat is a pilot for Delta (I think it's delta any way) and is a CFII (Certified Flight Instructor Instruments).  After he set his bags down he asked us if any of us wanted to go for a airplane ride later after school.  Of course we said yes.  Now he knows that I'm working on my Private Pilot Certificate.  So he told me make sure when we go up that you sit right seat and I'll let you do the flying.  Now I'm not going to pass up a chance to go fly, especially when he's offering to log it in my log book!

     The plane he flew in on is a Piper Comanche (PA-24-250).  Now just for comparison sake the Cessna 172 I usually fly has a 360 cubic inch engine and has a top speed around 120Knots(and that's pushing it!)100 - 110 knots is a more realistic speed.  The Comanche has a 540 cubic inch engine and has a whole lot more get up and go!  We were doing 130knots and not breaking a sweat!  I think I need a fast plane!

    Now the other great thing about flying this airplane is that it counts not only as training for my private certificate BUT it also counts towards my complex rating once I have my private certificate!  A complex aircraft is one that has All of the following.  1) Retractable landing gear 2)An adjustable prop 3)Adjustable flaps.

   That just blessed my socks off and I'm still excited about it!

Now I've got 6.9 Hours in (.7 hours for complex) and a life time to learn!  This is getting REALLY good, I'm sooooo glad I'm doing this!

Good weather?? FLY FLY FLY!!!!

     So this past weekend was great for flying even though Saturday was pretty breezy.    Even though I've been up in windy conditions before Saturday was pretty unique.  The wind wasn't blowing very hard, around 11-12 knots and gusting around 16 - 18 knots (which made it pretty fun/difficult to land in!).  But it was my first day dealing with cross winds!

     So far in my training I've done most of the take offs except for the beginning and the one on Friday and Saturday.  Mike demonstrated a "cross wind" take off and then I took over and flew out to the practice area just west of Columbus.  While we were up we only practiced a few maneuvers because it was so windy.

     But because it was so windy we got to practice cross wind landings!  While out in the practice area we flew to another airport and did some touch and goes where the wind wouldn't be at exactly 90 degrees perpendicular to the runway.  So I did about 3 touch and go's at the other airport before we headed back to Bolton Field.  I did one touch and go there and one full stop landing.  By this time the gusting was more prevalent but erratic.  Mike had to help me a LOT!  But for my first cross wind landings he said I did pretty good.  He thought better of me than I did. 

     All in all a great day for flying!  An hour up, 5 landings and all this on a Saturday, just after a great flight lesson the day prior!

6 Hours in a life time to learn!

Friday, February 17, 2012


February 17th, 2012!  So it's only been two weeks since my last flight!  I'm believing this means the weather is improving! 

     Well I recently purchased a few books that will help me with written, oral and practical tests I'll have to take.  One book for each of the tests.  I also got the FAR AIM which holds the rules for all portions of flight and a new pilots flight log book!  Up till now i had been using the one they gave me which had one page in it and was barely just a stapled kids book.  But awesome none the less!  Well on with the story I suppose!

     Today was fantastic! Today was the first time, by my self, that I did a preflight on the aircraft and called for a weather briefing from 1(800)wx-brief.  We discussed briefly what we were going to do today and just got right to it.  Mike demonstrated a short field take off and then I took over once we were airborne. 

     Once we were up we practiced a bunch of maneuvers.  We started with slow flight, went right into a power off stall then into a power on stall.    Then we went back down to 3000' from around 3500'+ and did some clearing turns.  Once we knew there was no one around us I did a perfect 360 degree turn to the left and kept my altitude with out it wavering one bit!!!  Then I did one to the right and it was ok, but I wanted to do one more just to do it better.  I did the second one a whole lot better, and Mike was pretty pleased as well.

    Oh lets see, then I did some turns around a point and S-turns over a road.  I'm pretty good at the turns around a point and the 360 degree turns, but I'm having a little trouble with the S turns.  I've only done them a couple times so I'm believing that with practice it will come more naturally. 

    After we were done in the practice area we headed back to airport for some traffic pattern work.  But before that mike did another simulated engine failure.  This time I was a little more prepared for it than the first time he did it.  He quizzed me on what to do and I don't want to brag or any thing but I kinda aced his quiz! :D  Approaching the airport the tower had us approach from the right, Mike did the first landing since it's been two weeks since our last flight.  We did a touch and go and Mike had me take control again and I flew the pattern.  I turned on the cross wind, downwind, base and final.  We got down to 65 knots and I made an 'ok' landing.  It wasn't the greatest but it was ok.  Mike said I was doing great but I dunno about that.  Then I made another pass at it and made a much better landing with very minimal verbal and no physical input.  I put it down just past the numbers and right on center line!  Oh man what a rush, I love this whole flying thing! 

I gotta say, taking off and flying is a ton of fun, but landing is a real thrill!!!

5 Hours in and a life time to learn!

Great aviation links.
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Private Pilots Resource Page

Friday, February 3, 2012

My first landings!

Friday February 3rd!  Just to start off with, today was absolutely amazing! 

Just as any session starts we checked the weather online and received a weather briefing over the phone.  We reviewed some material he wanted me to check out from last Friday.  Let's talk about the weather very quickly.  The skies were clear, we had 7miles of visibility and there was almost no wind.  Just about a perfect day.

Since the winds were calm the tower had us taxi out on the Bravo and Alpha taxiways to Runway 4.  Today was the first time I taxied from start to finish!  I know that might not seem like much, but to me it was great!  We held short of runway 4 and did our preflight checks.  Once we were ready we radioed the tower and he cleared us for take off.  I taxied onto Runway 4 and double checked the compass and off we went!  We flew out to our practice area and practiced a few maneuvers.  We did "steep turns" at a 45 degree bank, slow flight, stalls and ground referencing maneuvers.  We did two ground ref. maneuvers today.  The first was flying a 360 degree circle around an object on the ground while maintaining the same distance all the way around.  Which means correcting for wind.  The other was doing "S" turns on a road.  That one is where you fly perpendicular to a road or straight line on the ground and turn 180 degrees and fly back the other way over the road.  Then turn and fly back.  All while maintaining the same distance on either side of the road.

Then it was time to come back.  Before we took off however, we discussed that I would get to do my first landing.  Which I was absolutely ecstatic about.  He did the first landing and walked me through all the procedures.  The second time around was all me...until we were on base about to go to final approach.  Another aircraft, a Cessna 210, called in for a full stop landing.  Mike took over and got us down and down and took off again.  After that touch and go the it was all me...For REAL!  The first landing was incredible!  Just past the numbers and right in the middle of the runway!  The second was almost as good but just to the left of the center line!  This is awesome!  I have 4 hours of flight time and I'm getting to do landings already!

Then we taxied up to parking and tied the airplane down!  I couldn't be more happy!  We talked for a bit and Mike said I'd be soloing in the next few lessons, after I get my 3rd Class medical of course.  All that was left was to settle the bill.  Oh what a rush!

4.1 Hours in and a life time to learn! :D

Aviation Resources
Private Pilots Resource Page
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association