First Flight

After a very long time waiting to begin flight training, it began today. It was going to be a “Discovery Flight” from Chino out to Catalina and back, but low clouds over Catalina changed that. Not wanting to wait another day (I’ve been waiting about 25 years) I asked if…

Written by
Richard Brown
Published on
28 May 2016
Tags

After a very long time waiting to begin flight training, it began today. It was going to be a “Discovery Flight” from Chino out to Catalina and back, but low clouds over Catalina changed that. Not wanting to wait another day (I’ve been waiting about 25 years) I asked if we could instead just fly anywhere… I had my wife and oldest son with me, they were coming along because it was again going to be a “Discovery Flight” and the flight school allowed them to ride along the entire time even though it was going to be an actual lesson. Let’s say I had the time of my life!

I have been flying flight sims on the computer since the first Microsoft Flight Sim back on a Tandy 1000. I was probably the only 12 year old that was plotting out where I was on a map in the back of the Flight Sim manual by using the VOR’s in game while flying from New York to Martha’s Vineyard. Anyway, I know computer flight sims aren’t the real thing, but I think they helped some.
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We started out with the pre-flight and getting familiar with the plane.

IMG_4877 Can you tell that I’m excited?

First, steering with your feet takes some getting used to. (I will say that taxiing back to the hanger was a lot better than taxiing out to the runway.) I got to taxi and take off which was fairly uneventful. My wife was a bit nervous as we bounced around a little climbing out. I tried to prep her by telling her it wasn’t going to be like taking off in an airliner, to think of it more that an airliner is the bus driving down the road and this would be more like a four wheel drive on a dirt road with some pot holes…

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Anyway, we went out over Lake Matthews and then down I-15 to Temecula. Straight and level all good, level turns, descending turns, climbing turns, all good. I felt pretty good after one turn, we were at 3,000′ and he asked me to turn 180 staying at the same altitude without any gauges. He put his iPad over the gauges (you can see in the pics) and I began my turn.

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As I was leveling out coming out of the turn he said “You probably gained a little altitude and removed the iPad, I had only picked up about 50′ and he said “Wow, that’s spot on!” Yes I had a huge grin on my face. The whole time flying around he mostly just had his hands in his lap and telling me that I was going to make his job easy. :)

We came back and did two touch and go’s and then one more time around the pattern with a landing to a complete stop. The first two landings were pretty good, minimal input from the CFI. The only time I felt squirrely was after touching down, raising the flaps back up and pushing in full throttle. I have to get used to compensating the added power with some rudder (my CFI helped with that). The last landing we were coming in a little faster than we should so went to idle and he helped with bleeding off some speed. Felt pretty good to be told I was only the second student he has let land on their first flight.

Take aways… My brain went backwards a couple times and pushed the throttle in when I was meaning to decrease power. That will come with repetition. Biggest take away… brake pedals are independent… CFI didn’t have any brakes on his side, yep I was a little side to side as we slowed down after our last landing. I was not aware that the brake pedals were independent. :rolleyes: I’ll make sure I have even pressure on them next time out.

Did I say before that I had the time of my life!? Going back up again Monday afternoon for my second lesson.

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