Rich's Quest For Flight

My father was a pilot. He died doing what he loved to do. It has been a goal of my life to become a pilot. Now I have chance to do so. Follow me as I pursue my dream.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

First lesson! But first, some meteorology:

KRYV 060058Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM BKN090 12/M03 A2991 RMK AO2

The above line is called a METAR. It's a one line reading of the current weather conditions. More later, but all you need to know is that the weather was fabulous.

I was originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m., but since sunset was at 7:27 tonight, I called the FBO and was able to move that up to 6:30 p.m.

I arrived about 10 minutes early, and Adam was just finishing up his previous student. Rana had the plane checked out and the keys were ready, so Adam and I went to the flight line to start the pre-flight checks. Since N9002E is used primarily for training, there was a laminated checklist and we went through it in detail. We made a counter clockwise path around the plane, checking flight surfaces, moving parts (ailerons, elevator, rudder, etc.). We also checked the fuel and engine.

With the inspection complete, we buckled ourselves in, performed the engine start checks, and then we started moving. After some taxi practice, we made our way out to Runway 23. We stopped short and did our runup checks while a plane in front of us was moving onto the runway. The runup checks involve bringing the engine to speed and checking the component gauges and magnetos to make sure everything is functioning properly.

Since Watertown (KRYV) does not have a tower, we don't need a clearance, per se, to take off. But protocol says we still should announce our movements over a common frequency so that other planes in the area know what we're up to. We move onto the runway, align with the center line, then a bit of a surprise. Adam has me throttle up, and we're rolling. Then he gives me the plane and tells me to watch the air speed indicator and notice what happens when we hit 55 knots. I'm holding back on the yoke, and sure enough, when we hit 55, we lift off the ground and we're airborne. We turn to the south and climb to around 3500 feet and make our way to the manuever area. Once there, we work our way through a number of turns, do some climbing and descending, and similar things to familiarize me with the plane. We even did some stall training! Funny thing, stalls. The whole concept might seem intimidating, since it's another way of saying the plane has lost the ability to fly. But it's really not a big deal and it's very easy to recover from. Just point the nose down and apply power. Now a stall during a turn could be an adventure, but we'll learn how to deal with those later.

The sunset was a normal one I suppose, but it was the first one I've seen while flying an airplane. So it was just gorgeous. We made our way back to Watertown, entered the pattern, and brought 02E in for a landing. I actually had the plane all the way down until Adam took over and flared the plane for landing. We cleared the runway, taxied back to the ramp, shut down and performed our after checks. Back in the FBO office, I got my very first logbook entry.

We're on our way.

Next lesson is Friday. More then. Thanks for stopping by.


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