Apuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11 Posted (12 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5531 times:
Maybe you remember my previous topic a couple of months ago, in which I announced that I was about to fly a Cessna. Well, since some of you guys wanted me to write over here who it went, here is my short report:
CityBird Virtual Airlines organized some flights with a Cessna-172 (OO-JMI) and a Piper-28 (OO-JMC) of the Sabena Aeroclub at Grimbergen Airfield, Belgium (EBGB). We were 18 that day. We were divided into 3 x 2 groups (1A,1B,...,3A,3B). So, first, 1A and 1B would fly. One group would get the Cessna, the other one would get the Piper (and one instructor for each aircraft of course). Then, one of each group would first sit in the right seat, and fly. Then, they would land, change places, and take off again. So, in total, each participant would take off and land three times.
Now, to start the day, we first got some information about the airfield and the aircrafts we were about to fly. Next, we got some brief words about the route we would fly and that we were very close to BRU/EBBR, hence special procedures to avoid getting stuck in the stream of departing aircraft.
Next, guest speaker Frans Van Humbeek (quite a famous aviation historic) gave us some more detailed information about EBGB and, after a short visit to the hangars, explained the history of EBBR.
By then however, we had a serious problem: the Piper was still in England, and the pilot was only about to take-off towards Calais by 14h30 or so (he should have been in EBGB by 13h00!!). So, basically all groups would have to fly with the Cessna. And, to make things worse: there was a serious cold front getting closer, and we could expect serious rain showers & thunderstorms by 17h00. So, if you combine this with the fact that each flight would take about 25 minutes (times three this makes 1h15 for every group), things could get tricky for the last groups (I was in group 2B).
So, the first group started, then the other, and so on...
But, fortunately, at 17h30, the weather was still pretty good (only some minor turbulence, but still good visibility and only scattered clouds). So, after a long wait, I was about to fly the Cessna 172.
After I buckled up (as did the other two guys behind me and the instructor), the instructor gave us some info about the aircraft, and then he started the engine. While we taxied towards the (grass!) runway, he did some checks and gave us information about the checks.
Then, it was time to take off. He applied power, and within 20 seconds or so, we were airborne. It was amazing. The feeling was just...awesome. After we reached 500ft, he turned to crosswind leg, and then he said I could take over the yoke. Oh man, I was so nervous. But, once I had control, I was really happy. I could really feel the wind, and had to make small corrections all the time, to keep the aircraft level. Next, he said to turn to downwind leg. And then we just kept on flying, out of the traffic pattern, towards Mechelen, Boom, Breendonk (for you Belgians over here). But, we could already see the severe clouds getting closer, and we saw the grey 'wall' of rain, not too far away. Then, we turned away from the cold front, and continued our flight.
15 minutes later or so, we were back on the ground (nope, I didn't land it). We turned places, so the second one could fly. He basically did the same thing I did, but had to turn away from the cold front, that had already gotten much closer. It already started to rain, and get really dark.
By the time the third one was about to fly, the instructor said it was impossible to do the same route we just did, so he said that he would try to take us more to the west. So, we took off, and after a couple of minutes, the other guy took over the yoke. But, then after a minute or so, we saw a lightning, a little bit later, we just got hit by some serious turbulence (I had never experienced som much turbulence in my life). It only lasted for like a second or so, but the instructor immediately took over the controls, and decided to return to the airfield. Luckily, we were still in the downwind, so it didn't took too long to get us back on the ground.
The instructor parked the Cessna in front of one of the hangars, and we helped him to push the aircraft into the hangar, to protect it from hail and such).
So, the instructor told the third guy to come back next Sunday (as will groups 3A and 3B). We all shook hands, and I returned back home, driving through some rain showers...
To conclude: I can only recommend to all you guys that haven't flown before: TRY IT! YOU'LL LIKE IT!
Ivan (who's now more eager than ever before to get his PPL)
707cmf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5442 times:
I did exactly the same a few days ago. The local aeroclub had an open doors day, so I dropped by with my camera, eager to see the GA planes closer.
I got really thrilled when I saw an ad saying "pilot a plane for 20 minutes for 40 euros".
Needless to say, I took out my credit card, but they told me that they needed at least 3 person for the flight (each one piloting for 20 minutes, and just being in the plane for the rest of the flight). Well, my roommate agreed to chip in 40 euros as well, and another guy came, saying he was interested.
So, one hour later, all of us stepped into this beautiful bird (see pic below), and the instructor told me to seat in the right seat (damn, I was hoping for the left seat).
He did the take off (course), and then handed me the commands, just keeping the rudder for himself. Boy, was it great. 15 minutes later, he took back the commands for the landing, and again off we went with my roommate on the right seat.
I completely agree. Now that I've tasted it, I know that I will get my PPL, no matter the cost. It simply is a stunning experience.
So here is the plane that I flew : (for the first time I'm not saying "flew in")
(BTW, the rejection is for bad info. I reuploaded it and hope to make my first plane also my first photo in the DB)
Kay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1887 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5449 times:
I have 39.8 hours in Cessnas, 152 and 172. I'm getting the license sometime these two weeks. When I experienced my first Cessna flight, I paid attention to all the details and was really amazed by the experience. I tought I discovered what all this is about and was very happy and decided (just like you).
39.8 hours later I can say this. Your first flight is like the tip of the iceberg. And you have NO idea what is waiting for you, and what thrills, satisfaction, fears, excitement and other sensations each of your coming flight during the course of the PPL, will bring. After 7 months, I still had something amazingly new to discover this week: night flying. I think about it all the time now. Before that: there was the excitement of cross-country (demanding so much focus), before that: Basic Instruments and unusual attitudes, by far the most demanding hours physically and morally, these are the hours that will metamorphose your flying (and shape you). before that there were the solo practice of turns, stalls and other and especially doing circuits, where smooth landings will make your day. After a flight you usually get into a good mood for a couple of days. If the flight was rough, difficult, or very instructive, the good mood after the flight would last maybe a day or two more. That is why my flights are never more than a few days apart.
I am a bit nervous now that I am about to get the license. What then? I learnt so much! and there's no money to keep learning.. I guess we'll improvise.
Cosync From Mexico, joined Nov 2001, 556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5438 times:
yeh i saved my ass off for a flight. cept i went in a 152.(smaller)
i have a friend who is a pilot and he let me have a fly of the 172. ive been up with him 3 times. and ive had a half hour trial flight in the 152 and also a 1 hour flight in the trafic pattern in the 152. i got to land it and on the 5 landing i did it all by myself. thanks to trusty old flight sim for teaching me the concepts of flying.
707cmf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5425 times:
Now all I have to do is get a job (I graduated), earn some money, and start a PPL course!
And that's where I am right now. I graduated two years ago, and technically, I now have enough money in the bank for a PPL, but I've decided to wait a bit more, not wanting to spend more than 50% of my savings just for 'fun' (although it's more than fun, of course). So I'm still practicing a lot with FS2002 (although trying not to get bad habits), and I'll probably start the real thing in February or March.
What I'm afraid of is once I have the PPL, I will have spent *a lot* of money, and I'll still need a lot more if I want to keep on flying. (15 hours a year just seems... not much).
Any idea on how to keep flying cheap ? I know that with a PPL you cannot make people pay me for a flight, but is there a way to have them pay the flight but not the pilot (obviously, I am totally eager to fly for free)
Apuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5415 times:
Glad to hear you've been able to save some money to start your PPL. I know you can't fly pax with your PPL (on a commercial basis), but isn't it possible to take people for scenery flights or something, and have them pay for your expenses (fuel,...)?
FredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5401 times:
"Any idea on how to keep flying cheap ? I know that with a PPL you cannot make people pay me for a flight, but is there a way to have them pay the flight but not the pilot (obviously, I am totally eager to fly for free)"
If money is a concern, try starting out with gliders. That way, you'll get the basic stick and rudder skills at a WAY lower cost. Not to mention that glider pilots, being used to flying without an internal power source, tend to make safer pilots when converting to powered flight. The accident statistics are rather clear in this regard.
It is a fascinating form of flight as well. None of the going in a straight line that powered flight is all about. You're continuously manouevering your aircraft, trying to find and center thermals. You probably get in a years worth of turning in powered flight in a few hours of gliding!
At least here, the cheapest route to flying powered aircraft seems to be beginning with gliders, getting a bit of experience and then moving on. It takes a bit longer than going for the PPL equivalent rightaway, but you're spending that extra time flying so it won't exactly be torture.
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
VapourTrails From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1592 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (12 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5359 times:
Apuneger, I remember your thread. It is great to read your experience on here and that it was everything you hoped it would be (and more!). I am crazy not to have tried it this far.. although, next time I fly out [next week for a few days] I am going to visit the other side of the airport for a 'look' ..maybe I'll get some inspiration!
Wish you all the best.
"The airplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth" -- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry