PWMRamper
Topic Author
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:26 am

Discovery Flight...A Few Questions/Observations

Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:21 am

I just took a Discovery Flight for the first time, got a Gift Certificate for Christmas and finally used it! First off, it was an amazing, amazing experience and I am desperate to get back in the air! I want to talk a little bit about my experience, and I have a few questions, and hopefully people can answer them.

I was very happy with my instructor, we sat down beforehand and he explained what we'd be doing. He had already done the preflight walkaround, so we hopped in the Cessna 172SP and he walked me through checklists, and a basics on the controls.

I taxied out...and there's Question #1. It was hard as hell to keep the plane moving straight, haha. I caught myself way right of the centerline, just like I was driving a car, but I figured that was normal. I just couldn't keep the thing straight, I kept weaving back and forth, I found it really difficult to steer with my feet. This normal? I assume it gets better...

He let me do most of the work on takeoff, just making sure we didn't pull off to the left, and before I knew it we were airborne. Certainly a rush, and I hadn't expected him to let me takeoff.  

Flight was (obviously) pretty simple. Did plenty of turns to get comfortable with controlling the aircraft. Was nervous at first, having not been in a GA aircraft before the turns felt much, much steeper and it was a little offputting. I quickly got the hang of it though and felt pretty comfortable in no time.

Question #2. I felt like I wasn't using my feet hardly at all during turns. Now, my instructor demonstrated the yaw when you don't use any pedal, but I still felt like I wasn't using enough. But maybe it just doesn't take much....

The time flew by, if you'll pardon the pun. I flew for the vast majority of the 25 minutes up in the air, except when my instructor was demonstrating things briefly. There are so many things inside to look at, and it was overwhelming. I found I spent most of my time looking at the Attitude Indicator. I had to force myself to look at things such as altitude and speed and the like. But don't worry, I also spent plenty of time looking out the window. I assume it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and not know what to focus on...

My instructor took control for descent and landing, and that was that. I was incredibly disappointed I was done so soon. I am desperate to get back up in the air again, but money is (of course) the problem.

I'm looking into schools and other programs, and with all of the options, am wondering what is best. Something akin to "Flying Boot Camp" at a place like ATP Flight Schools, or just doing flying at my own pace through the local Flight School? Regardless of what path I choose, I'm counting the minutes until I get flying again!

http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/296648_2392379892636_1345077397_32823781_8225082_n.jpg
 
757dab
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:29 pm

RE: Discovery Flight...A Few Questions/Observation

Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:39 pm

Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
I just couldn't keep the thing straight, I kept weaving back and forth, I found it really difficult to steer with my feet. This normal? I assume it gets better...


It is very weird at first but its a piece of cake after
If it ain't Boeing, I'M NOT GOING!!!!!
 
tcasalert
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:34 am

RE: Discovery Flight...A Few Questions/Observation

Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:16 pm

Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
I taxied out...and there's Question #1. It was hard as hell to keep the plane moving straight, haha. I caught myself way right of the centerline, just like I was driving a car, but I figured that was normal. I just couldn't keep the thing straight, I kept weaving back and forth, I found it really difficult to steer with my feet. This normal? I assume it gets better...

It becomes natural after a while  
Quoting PWMRamper (Thread starter):
Question #2. I felt like I wasn't using my feet hardly at all during turns. Now, my instructor demonstrated the yaw when you don't use any pedal, but I still felt like I wasn't using enough. But maybe it just doesn't take much....

You don't have to really, when I was flying I never noticed pressing the pedals, unless of course I was trying to induce a spin in the spin/stall awareness part. That is weird - yoke to the right, rudder hard left, into a stall, negative G as you go over the top and then watch the ground spinning around in circles as you nosedive towards it at a rate of knots trying to correct it! Just make sure you've not eaten a cooked breakfast like I had that day!   
Next flight: Feb 2012 - BHX-CPH-BHX - SK MD87 / CRJ900
 
ThirtyEcho
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: Discovery Flight...A Few Questions/Observation

Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:33 am

Taxiing becomes so normal you don't even realize you are doing it. Please track the centerline of the taxiway, though.

Standard rate turns at cruise speed require very little rudder to be coordinated. Shallow course correcting turns in cruise are usually done with no rudder at all.

Instrument fixation (looking at one instrument while neglecting the others) is something every newbie does. Eyeball lock seems to default to the attitude indicator but if you tell a new pilot to watch their airspeed, that is all they will watch.

Stay away from "flying" with Microsoft Flight Simulator as it will really mess you up in a real airplane. MSFS is only slightly useful as a procedures trainer in instrument flying, and that is it.
 
ALTF4
Posts: 1154
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:01 pm

RE: Discovery Flight...A Few Questions/Observation

Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:29 pm

I was in your shoes in late May. Went up for a discovery flight the saturday before memorial day, and then was back the next day... and the next... and the next... and now just about every weekend. Soloed on July 2nd (yep, just about one month after the discovery flight) and am studying for the written now. I'm at about 23 hrs TT, aiming to take the checkride at 40 hours. heh.

I'd really suggest saving up and then doing your training all at once. Don't let money issues be a problem, because it will only be more expensive in the long run since you re-learn things that you have forgotten.

Also, ask your instructor what you will work on next at the end of each lesson, then study how to do the maneuvers. Not only will you impress him by doing the maneuver nearly perfectly after he demonstrates once, but it will make the whole thing much easier.

Quoting ThirtyEcho (Reply 3):
Stay away from "flying" with Microsoft Flight Simulator

  . I had to force myself to look outside... used to fly flight sim all the time. Now I look outside and verify what I see with the instruments, but it took a few lessons to force myself to do that.
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
tcasalert
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:34 am

RE: Discovery Flight...A Few Questions/Observation

Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:22 pm

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 4):
I'd really suggest saving up and then doing your training all at once. Don't let money issues be a problem, because it will only be more expensive in the long run since you re-learn things that you have forgotten.

But don't forget that if you think its expensive to learn to fly - keeping flying once you have passed will be nigh on impossible. Don't ever underestimate just how expensive it is to keep that piece of paper once you have it - $4000 for lessons is nothing compared to the amount you have to keep forking out for medicals, charts, license renewals, club membership, flying hours, landing fees, check rides etc etc. Just when you think you're sorted for the month, something else needs buying or renewing.

Anyone can raise a few grand for lessons, but finding hundreds of dollars every month just to fly a couple of circuits and keep current is something else.

Not trying to talk you out of it, just talking from bitter experience (and thousands of pounds down the drain).
Next flight: Feb 2012 - BHX-CPH-BHX - SK MD87 / CRJ900

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