1st Lesson-Saturday, May 7
I had my first flying lesson and it was really exciting to do something I have been wanting to do for so long! Ryan (my husband) went to my first lesson with me, as starting lessons was my birthday present. I learned how to preflight and use a checklist to make sure you’re not missing anything. One of the many items on the checklist is checking the fuel in each wing. “Never trust a fuel gauge unless it’s on empty.” Apparently, fuel gauges on aircraft can’t be trusted, so you always check it yourself.
Before taxiing out Mr. King made sure I knew what the instruments were and explained what we were going to do. We flew straight and level, did some turns, and Mr. King demonstrated stalls. It was a beautiful day. Since I hadn’t been in a tiny general aviation aircraft since I was 20 something and went on a free demonstration flight with the EAA Young Eagles to write a newspaper article about them, it was great to see it was as fun was a I remembered. If you’ve never been in a small plane like the Cessna 172, it is nothing like being in an airliner. You’re more aware of how amazing flying is in a little plane and you feel closer to the clouds. I first flew in a small plane like that when I was 14 on a Young Eagles flight. I enjoyed getting to fly the plane myself more than the couple of minutes they let you do so on a Young Eagles flight. Mr. King said, “Well you can think about it and let me know if you want to get started.” Ryan said, “She had already decided before she got here today” and he was right. The 45 minute flight confirmed what I’d always known I wanted to do.
(Being excited about taking lessons didn’t mean I wasn’t a bit nervous!) Ryan took this picture of my death grip reflected in the window. You should have seen him wedged back there in the back seat!
Lessons 2-6, May 14-July 16
My second lesson I got my logbook. The picture above is Mr. Ken King writing in my first two lessons. I don’t know why this was so exciting. I guess it made me feel more official. 🙂 We did mostly the same thing as the first lesson.
My fourth and fifth lessons I did some instrument flying with the foggles. Foggles are glasses that are frosted at the top so you can’t see outside of the plane and are looking at only the instruments to determine if you’re flying straight and level and making coordinated turns or unintentionally climbing/descending/slowing down/speeding up. It isn’t my favorite thing to do, but I get WHY I have to do it. To get your private pilot’s license you have to do 3 hours of instrument training. After you get your private pilot’s license and have accumulated enough hours, you can move on to getting an instrument rating, which is something I would ultimately like to do so I will be a better pilot.
I also did climbs, descents, turns, power off stalls, and maintaining constant airspeed each of these lessons.
Lesson 6 happened to be the day of the monthly fly-in. Lots of very cool planes there and the Young Eagles who flew seemed to enjoy themselves. Young Eagles is a program of the EAA that lets kids ages 9-17 fly free.