Hope this is in the correct forum, it's a sort of trip report!
Well, I got there at last, my first flying lesson. I arrived at Cambridge Airport (UK) - EGSC - just in time for a treat prior to my lesson. EGSC is the base for Marshall Aerospace (www.marshallaerospace.com) who perform aircraft maintenance on military and commercial aircraft. As I arrived there was a BA 747 taxi-ing down the runway to depart back to Heathrow to re-enter service. Once he'd got lined up on runway 23 there was a short wait for clearance and then he powered up on the brakes. The brakes were let go and off he went! I've never seen a 747 use such a short amount of runway before - no PAX, cargo and just enough fuel to get to LHR only 60ish miles away. Runway 23 is 1965 metres and he must have got airborne in about 1000 - awesome. Up he went over the city of Cambridge into the haze. Wow!
Anyway, time to fly. My aircraft for the day (hour!) was to be a Piper PA28 (G-JASE). The plane used to belong to Jason Matthews, son of Bernard Matthews the UK poultry magnate. It transpires that Bernard bought it for Jason, who got bored with flying(how?) after a couple of years and decided to get rid. It was acquired and re-furbished by the Mid-Anglia Flying School at Cambridge. So G-JASE, how appropriate as I am also called Jason, but everyuone calls me Jase!
I got into the Piper and was joined by my instructor - in my excitement I've forgotten his name - sorry if you're reading this. We taxied a short distance to a holding point short of the threshold of runway 23 where he went thorugh a pre-flight test. Everything was working so we taxied runway 23 to await take-off clearance. That wasn't long to wait and soon we were off.
The boss applied full power and we accelerated to 65 knots when he pulled back and up we went. We climbed to 1,000 feet on the runway heading and then turned 90 degrees left and climbed to 1500 feet. Another 90 degrees left and then climbed to 2000 feet parallel to runway 5.
Now it was my turn! We were going to go through the effect of the primary controls (basic stuff I know but ya gotta start somewhere) and the associated 'unwanted' effects. I'll not bore you with the tiny details but we did all the basics - roll, rudder, flaps, power-up, power-down etc. It was a very hot day so there was allsorts of air-pockets and other bumps up there, it was quite a challenge to keep G-JASE on the straight and narrow - but I soon got used to not hanging on to the control stick with white nuckles! and letting the sircraft do the work.
I flew around over the Cambridge area and then, alas, it was time to land. I flew towards the airport on a 320 degree heading until about 8 miles out then my instructor took over for landing. He took us down to 1500 hundred feet on this heading then once past the runway he turned downwind parallel to runway 5 and descended to 500ish feet. Once clearance was given as first on final for runway 23, it was then two descending left turns to line up with runway 23 and a perfect landing (if a bit skewed to the right).
Well, what an exhilarating hour, i just can't wait until next time!