My 1979 Cessna 172N

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flight Training - Second Lesson

Bob and I took to the skies again Saturday, July 9th in the afternoon.  We were concerned that the thunder storms would develop again as they have done most of the week but we were blessed with some beautiful weather for the hour flight. 

I had the aircraft all pre-flighted before Bob arrived and we taxied out to rwy 13 for a south departure to practice area D.  From today on I work the radios.  This turned out to be a non stressful task as I've had some experience flying VATSIM (http://www.vatsim.net/) with Delta Virtual Airlines and knew the jargon and what was expected.  Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flying uses a little different communication phrases and the Cessna 172 is a lot different than the turbojet aircraft I'm used to in a simulator but communications are communications and it has been good practice.

We practiced ascending and descending turns as well as controlling airspeed with pitch and altitude with power.  This is not immediately intuitive and takes some getting used to but I think I'll be fine.  Again the aircraft performed well (except for my COMs... a lot of static at high RPM) and there were no problems or concerns.  I'm having Flight-Deck Avionics do some panel modernization work and I'll have them look at the radios when they pull the panel out next week.

My landing today... not good.  I flared far to high and the landing turned into a mess even though it was salvaged a bit down the runway.  I'm sure the controller in the tower got a good laugh out of that one.  I need to learn to not be too eager to flare that soon, a habit I'm sure I picked up from landings in large turbojet aircraft (simulated of course).

All in all it was a great afternoon.  They say you gain back those minutes you spend piloting an aircraft... I plan to cash in and live forever.

Friday, July 1, 2011

First Flight Instruction

Well, I've been preparing to do it for over 30 years and today I received my first official flight instruction with my instructor.  I don't know that my instructor would want his name plastered all over my blog so I'll just use his first name... Bob.  Bob is a man of patience and I can tell I'm going to enjoy training with him.  He spent 1.5 hours with me starting at 0630 this morning and it was fantastic.  We went over preflight and then spent an hour practicing basic flight maneuvers.  It was not a perfect landing but I'm proud to say I at least landed the airplane today as well.  Bob is also either a very trusting guy or totally insane for letting me land.

This day was made even more exciting by the fact that I just yesterday took delivery of my own Cessna 172N, a 1979 vintage Skyhawk with a 180 HP conversion.  Fantastic airplane located with the help of Hanger Aviation out of Charleston, SC.  Cole, Clark and Kris at Hanger Aviation have been awesome and with their help I'm now the proud owner of N9478E.  She runs well and flies great.  Needless to say, I'm pretty happy with the situation.