My next two lessons (AP2&AP3) covered effects of controls and straight and level as the title of this post suggests. I was a little nervous about the second flight because of the nausea thing but it wasn’t an issue. Both lessons were very smooth because they were the first of the day. A favourite part of both of these lessons was taking off. Even though the wee warrior doesn’t have the same acceleration as a passenger jet it is still really satisfying to push the throttle forwards and accelerate towards rotation speed (the speed where you lift the nose off the ground) which is 65kts in the Warrior.
My lessons are usually back to back with my two flying buddies so our instructor will do one flight after the other. If the first two pilots go together on the first flight, we can land away at another airport, switch, and have the second pilot fly back to Goodyear and then the third pilot gets his flight. I hope you followed that! On AP3, we landed at Mobile which is about 20nm south/south-east of Goodyear. It is insanely quiet out there, the airport is un-manned and the only other thing nearby is a landfill and I couldn’t even hear that. I haven’t landed yet but I look forward to it. It looks like quite the challenge! Taking off isn’t terribly difficult, keep the nose on the centre line with the rudder (requires right rudder due to various forces acting on the plane) and rotate at 65kts. Hold a slight nose up attitude to climb away but not too steeply. Keep your hand on the throttle until 1000ft above the ground – that isn’t strictly essential in a single engine aeroplane, it’s more preparation for flying a twin. If you have an engine failure on takeoff in a twin, you want to throttle back the live engine straight away. You can’t do that unless your hand is on the throttle. It’s fun and I’m looking forward to the challenge of landing. Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as taking off – but then it wouldn’t be a challenge. AP4 will be tomorrow morning – climb, descend and medium turns.
Straight and level was a good lesson for getting to know the area better. There’s not much else you can do going straight and level for over an hour! We did turn, just not very often. The aim of the lesson was to be able to hold altitudes (using trim) and hold headings using references on the ground.
I was out at an RC flying club this morning – my first time ever to such a place. It was a lot of fun too even though I didn’t get to fly. If I was even allowed to fly the pictured aircraft above I would have said no right away. The risk of messing up is way too high! The pilot of the blue plane has been flying RC aircraft for about thirteen years and that is clearly visible when watching him do that flying thing. He had it upside down, spinning, looping, ‘hovering’ and flying sideways. The performance was a complete show stealer, everyone stopped to watch and for good reason too, it was very impressive! He was just as good with RC helicopters too, I had no idea they were so maneuverable – or strong enough to withstand such insane flying.
Right, that’s it. I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes.