Monday, June 05, 2006

Off we go !!!

After a rainy saturday I had my eyes on the weather report since Sun morning. I am glad I had my lesson in the evening as the weather was getting better by the hour. By the time I got to the airport the clouds were broken at 048 and overcast at 060.

This time around I called up my instructor and he picked me up. So I got to the airport a bit early. I checked out the aircraft and started the preflight. I think I am getting better at the preflight. My instructor joined me towards the end and asked me a couple of questions to verify that I had done a proper job.

With engines running my instructor asked me to call up ground. I must say I did a pretty good job handling the radios and at the end got the compliment from the instructor about it :) (too bad the caldwell feed has been down otherwise I would have saved a recording, well some other time!!).

So we taxiied to the runway and I guess all the taxiing practice on saturday paid off as I was a bit better (though still a long way to go). Holding short, did engine run-up, called up tower and off we went.

Entering the practice area my instructor showed me some basic manuvers, straight and level flight, descending turns, etc and asked me to do them. Sometimes I did good, sometimes not so good. Two things I have to remember are:

a) Pitch, power trim
b) step on the ball

I also have to get comfortable with managing my time looking outside and at the same time making sure I am aware of the gauges. I think I am spending too much time outside and not monitoring the instruments enough. Also I need to stay ahead of the plane. Yesterday I felt as if I was reacting to the plane. So a lot of lessons learnt.

After an hour of so, we headed back to the airport. On the way back we encountered some confusion with the ATC as another aircraft in the area apparently reported his position wrong and the ATC thought he was very near to us. That made me realize how important it is to know where you are and what all traffic is around you. It is sooo easy to get lost up there. Well, once I am more comfortable flying I guess I'll work on the situational awareness aspect of it.

The landing was uneventful and 1.2 hours after the preflight we were back at the ramp. All in all a good day. Next lesson is fri and the instructor is going to show me some new manuvers and of course I'll practice the old ones.

Hoping for blue skies this friday, till then njoy !!!

Dual FT: 1.2

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Rainy Day

Wow ! Today it poured like crazy. As the weekend approached it was clear that it was going to pour down today. And truly it was overcast at 400 with mist. So I wasn't expecting a flight today. I anyway had ground lessons so I headed out to the airport right away.

After getting of the bus stop, the airport is a good mile hike. When I got off, the weather was pleasant and there was very light drizzle. So I decided to walk up to the airport as I normally do. Just as I was around 5 minutes away from the flight school, it started pouring down like crazy :( So my decision to hike turned out to be a bad one. Well, another lesson leart, but the rest of the walk, with the grass just washed in the rain and all bright green, was worth it !! Next time, I'll just call up the school for a ride :)

So I arrive at the school, meet the instructor and then we decide to do some ground work and wait for the rain to stop. Since I hadn't been assigned much the ground school was more of going over the material. I am glad we did cause I think I have a much better idea of airspaces now.

Well so an hour or so into the lesson the rain stopped, and we decided we could go out to the plane and practice on my preflight and taxiing skills.

So off we headed to dispatch, checked out the plane. I did the preflight with very little help from instructor. This part was fun :) There was practically no activity on the airport. In the controller's words to an IFR acft "Sir, there is absolutely nothing going on at the airport!!".

So engines started and all ready, we radioed ground for taxi practice. The next 40 minutes or so were just me trying to taxi around the airport following the ground's directions, hold short of rwy 22 at bravo, follow November all the way down to rwy 9, etc. I still have to get a feel for the directional control using rudders. I think I am not sitting forward enough to get full leg movement. Towards the end I was doing a little bit better, but still a long way to go :(

Well after a fun taxi excursion around the airport, we finally got back to the ramp and towed and secured the plane. Next lesson is tomorrow evening. Keeping finger crossed for VMC conditions .. till then back to the books !