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Pilot TR: My First Flight On The Left Seat (pics)  
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2048 posts, RR: 9
Posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 19081 times:

This trip report will be a bit different from my previous reports. I’m usually flying SQ as a passenger and quite enjoying the experience, but this report will document me as a pilot, which was an even more exciting experience.

Background

I always wanted to be a pilot. Since my first flight when I was 5yrs old in a LH 742 and I transited via FRA, I knew I wanted to be a pilot. However, I was told to get an actual degree before pursuing a flying career, which I did and I’m pretty happy about that. But there was always something in the back of my mind that reminded me of what I really wanted to do.

So during my Xmas holidays I decided to go out to a small airfield close to where I was spending my holidays to give it a go.

http://lh5.google.com/komododx/R36sHrzU8LI/AAAAAAAAAMo/4PW8vNRR9H8/s800/DSC_0101.JPG
Next to a Texan in immaculate condition

http://lh5.google.com/komododx/R36sKrzU8MI/AAAAAAAAAMw/G2Qeow8tsU4/s800/DSC_0102.JPG
Dying to take this one for a spin


Dep: CJR – Culpeper County Airport, Culpeper, Virginia
Arr: OMH – Orange County Airport, Orange County, Virginia
A/C: Cessna 172
Reg N7058G

We had initially found an airport in Warrenton, about 45 miles from Washington, DC, however the guys there kept on giving us the go around, no pun intended. So we drove a further 20-30 miles to Culpeper and found another tiny field where a very friendly guy, Bob, was the instructor at White Hawk Aviation. He agreed on taking me up in the air for about an hour, do a couple of take offs and, hopefully, the same number of landings. The weather was not perfect for flying, but not bad either. The FAA’s METAR report said winds calm, visibility 10Mi, and a 6000ft ceiling for the area, which was good enough to go.

On to the tarmac, and it was time to get familiar with the plane. Now, although I would never say that Flight Simulator is anything like the real thing, it did help a bit having been an FS nut in the past to know some of the main dials. Fuel mix in, Master/Alt on, and it was time to crank start the plane, which went smoothly. A check on the avionics and the sound in the headset, and it was time to push on the throttle and taxi to the active.

http://lh4.google.com/komododx/R36sNbzU8NI/AAAAAAAAAM4/Ggzbe0iQMxM/s800/DSC_0109.JPG
In the driver's seat

http://lh6.google.com/komododx/R36sP7zU8OI/AAAAAAAAANE/nkcdKhk_-zo/s800/DSC_0110.JPG
Checking the map of the area


http://lh5.google.com/komododx/R36sSrzU8PI/AAAAAAAAANM/mIfUBB7s_7M/s800/DSC_0111.JPG
Nearly ready to go

My stepdad being a pilot and having flown all different kinds of planes for all different kinds of airlines as well as for private jets, had told me that it was very important to know about the P-factor, where P stands for propeller. Due to the way the blade is shaped, when you push on the throttle, the airplane will want to go to the left, so you need to maintain a light tap of right rudder while on taxi.

http://lh4.google.com/komododx/R36sVbzU8QI/AAAAAAAAANU/S29PFVHMEI8/s800/DSC_0113.JPG

http://lh6.google.com/komododx/R36sY7zU8RI/AAAAAAAAANc/ccyRpO44X1c/s800/DSC_0114.JPG

http://lh5.google.com/komododx/R36sbrzU8SI/AAAAAAAAANk/opqcySpUw0o/s800/DSC_0115.JPG
Bob instructing me how to start the engine

http://lh6.google.com/komododx/R36se7zU8TI/AAAAAAAAANs/HVLv3PQ4vUI/s800/DSC_0116.JPG
Taxiing to the active

As we approached the end of the taxiway and held short from the active, Bob went over the basics of aerodynamics and basically how speed, altitude, and flight level is held, which is always a mix of throttle and pitch.

We got on the common frequency for CJR and announced our intended plan of departing on Rwy and then heading South, without the intention of remaining in the pattern.

I pushed on the throttle and we lined up on the keyboard. Immediately Bob told me to give it all the throttle it had and remember to keep giving it right rudder, especially now that we had full power on. It is incredible how much the a/c pulls to the left, and it was a good thing that Bob was there with his own set of controls in case something went wrong.

Before I knew it, Bob was saying “She’s ready to fly! Pull on the yoke.” She indeed was ready to fly, and for my first takeoff, it was incredible how leveled it was considering the pull to the left and my foot deep in the right rudder, but we soon were up around 1000ft and I was flying the plane with the yoke and the pitch.

http://lh3.google.com/komododx/R36shLzU8UI/AAAAAAAAAN0/uruRXN4GIaw/s800/DSC01945%2021-29-04.JPG
"She's ready to fly!"

After takeoff we turned left and were downwind of the runway, but then turned right heading 210 degrees towards OMH. The flight was itself uneventful and me and Bob spent the 20-odd minutes in the air continuing our conversation on the basics of aerodynamics and how/why things fly.

We dialed in the localizer for OMH in the OBD and soon enough we were looking out the window trying to find the field. We tuned into the ATIS and found out the runway in use was 24. I reduced the throttle to about 2000rpm and then further down to 1500 in order to bring the plane down to 1000ft and in for finals.

It is surprising how up around 2500ft without winds the plane rides so smooth, but when you come in for a landing, the controls become quite sensitive and it is hard to bring it down the centerline for a landing. It is also interesting on how, obviously (I suppose), you can make so many corrections even at the last minute in such a small plane. The landing was not as rough as I was expecting it to be, considering you really feel the speed in such a small aircraft as opposed to when you are seated as a passenger in a bigger commercial jet.

Bob told me that he did not believe in touch-and-go’s, and that he wanted us to land, extit the runway, and taxi back to the active for take off, which we did.

Dep: OMH – Orange County Airport, Orange County, Virginia
Arr: CJR – Culpeper County Airport, Culpeper, Virginia
A/C: Cessna 172
Reg N7058G

Once we taxied back to the active, we tuned into the common frequency for OMH and stated our intentions. We then aligned ourselves on the runway and applied full power. For a split second I forgot the P-factor, and the aircraft started veering to the left, so I applied some right rudder. The problem was that by then the plane was ready to fly and I was pulling back in the yoke, which combined with a lot of right rudder was not such a good idea, but Bob saved the day and I was only left with a slight embarrassment for forgetting the P-factor.

We took off to the north and after an uneventful flight spent talking about Bob’s previous life and my current one, we were on the look out for CJR. Since the winds were calm and we were first in the air, we called the landing rwy and it was number . We flew downwind and then made a turn for finals, which was quite tight. Bob kept reminding me to look at the compass, but I knew that we had missed the alignment for finals and we would have to do the approach all over again. 1200rpm in the dial and we made a really tight left turn to intercept the final path and then a right turn to align with the rwy. There were a lot of last second corrections with the rudder, but we managed to put her down safely and back to the tiny terminal bldg.

http://lh3.google.com/komododx/R36skLzU8VI/AAAAAAAAAN8/YJqv_NIKYGk/s800/DSC01947%2021-29-04.JPG
Taxiing back to the terminal at CJR

http://lh3.google.com/komododx/R36snLzU8WI/AAAAAAAAAOE/9RclUSvzaPI/s800/DSC01949%2021-29-04.JPG
Parking

http://lh6.google.com/komododx/R36sp7zU8XI/AAAAAAAAAOM/B7TpUnXQfqw/s800/DSC01950%2021-29-04.JPG
Parked

http://lh5.google.com/komododx/R36ssrzU8YI/AAAAAAAAAOU/GAxKU9ItDmE/s800/DSC01951%2021-29-04.JPG
Shutdown

http://lh6.google.com/komododx/R36sv7zU8ZI/AAAAAAAAAOc/gyQa7IwjjfY/s800/DSC01953%2021-29-04.JPG
Tied down for the rest of the day



So this ends my first trip report in which I’m not an actual passenger.

Hope you enjoyed and if you did leave a comment.

Cheers
Coal


Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGoAllegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 18794 times:

Congratulations, glad that you did what you wanted to do, and I'm glad that FIs like Bob still exist. Looking at the pics of the 172 (all very good shots, presumably by a friend), it seems very funny to me that most if not all of the same basic flight principles apply to that plane and to the A380.

User currently offlineGlid4500 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 587 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 18571 times:

very nice pics and report. I know you mustve been very excited when u got in the seat.


http://www.facebook.com/ea90744
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9032 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 18567 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I know how that feels, sitting there in the left seat and doing all that stuff on your own Big grin Exciting! You will never forget that day!!

Always happy landings!!!!

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 18435 times:

Congrats!!!

This will be a memorable day for you!!

The pics are really nice.

A pleasant read.



Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2048 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 17936 times:



Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 1):
I'm glad that FIs like Bob still exist.

 checkmark 

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 1):
all very good shots, presumably by a frien

Thanks! By my mom

Quoting Glid4500 (Reply 2):
I know you mustve been very excited when u got in the seat.

 biggrin 

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 3):
Exciting! You will never forget that day!!

Never will. And I'm looking forward to my next flight

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
The pics are really nice.

A pleasant read.

Thanks!

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26978 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 17699 times:

Hi there Coal.
Very nice experience to have and great pics by your Mum.

Thanks for sharing

OA260


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 17557 times:

Congrats on piloting your own aircraft. Nothing beats the feeling of being in control several thousand feet in the air. Some say it is better than sex...


Here am I next to my Cessna 152 Aerobat. It was PURE FUN stalling and recovering and that was one of the highlights of my training during my time with Singapore Flying College...



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2048 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 16858 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 6):
Very nice experience to have and great pics by your Mum.

Thanks! Cheers

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
Nothing beats the feeling of being in control several thousand feet in the air.

Indeed!

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 7):
Some say it is better than sex...

Mmmm... But definitely not better than sex while flying!  wink 

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 16472 times:

Great report, Coal

I had a flying lesson back in May 2007 in the same type of aircraft as yourself. The day went pretty much like yours by the sound of things and Ill never forget the feeling of pulling abck on the yoke and rotating.

Just after I took off there was a KL Fokker 100 behind me and as we deviated from the runway heading I was able to watch the KL aircraft take-off and speed ahead of me off to the right.

I hope you get to do this again at some point because I suspect your itching to get back in that left hand seat  Smile



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineSanjet From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 15574 times:

Great to see new pilots joining the skies! Congrats, I remember my first solo like it was yesterday.


Will Fly For Food!
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 15459 times:

Great pictures, it's such an amazing day.

If I may ask, start of a career change?


User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8675 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 15030 times:



Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 1):
and I'm glad that FIs like Bob still exist

I could not agree more.

Coal,

Congrats on your flying lesson; hopefully you will get your private, then your commercials.

Hunter



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4346 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 14646 times:

Nice TR. When I was working on my PPL, we used to always fly to Culpeper, VA and Warrenton, VA and practice touch no go's at a non-tower operation. CJR is a nice GA airport, but can get quite busy on weekends with 4-5 aircraft in the pattern. BTW, I did my training out of Manassas, VA.

Please don't stop. If you enjoyed it, reserve another time with you instructor and pursue your license. It's actually not that hard, but if I could it, then anyone can. It took me over 100 hours to get my license, switching new CFI's every month, moving to different cities, and long deployments, but managed to get it done. Good luck.

[Edited 2008-02-10 03:33:00]

User currently offlineCeph From Singapore, joined Jun 2007, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14567 times:

I will be doing a similar flight on tuesday on a Piper Warrior II.

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 14193 times:

Congrats. SNB

You should feel proud for obvious reasons.

Good TR especially the Pics.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineKYNG2KPBI From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 14061 times:

Congrats! I love the pictures, they are very nice!

BTW: You look very comfortable in the pictures


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2048 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (5 years 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12349 times:



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 9):
I hope you get to do this again at some point because I suspect your itching to get back in that left hand seat

Yes! I still haven't done it, mostly because I live in Singapore and you must be a Citizen to be able to take flight lessons.

Quoting Sanjet (Reply 10):
Great to see new pilots joining the skies! Congrats, I remember my first solo like it was yesterday.

Thanks! It was a great experience!

Quoting Boeing77W (Reply 11):
Great pictures, it's such an amazing day.

If I may ask, start of a career change?

No, this is only a hobby (and an expensive one at that!). Sadly, in a way anyway, I make much more $ in my current job than I would as a pilot.

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 12):
Congrats on your flying lesson; hopefully you will get your private, then your commercials.

Maybe one day!

Quoting GOCAPS16 (Reply 13):
Please don't stop. If you enjoyed it, reserve another time with you instructor and pursue your license.

I would love to, but as mentioned above it is hard to do outside the US.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 15):
Congrats. SNB

You should feel proud for obvious reasons.

Good TR especially the Pics.

regds
MEL

Thanks MEL!

Quoting KYNG2KPBI (Reply 16):
Congrats! I love the pictures, they are very nice!

BTW: You look very comfortable in the pictures

It felt like second nature to me  Smile

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
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