Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Flight in MY Airplane

I flew an airplane that I can consider "mine" for the first time today. And what a thrill it was!  Such a thrill, in fact, that I forgot the airplane keys at home, and had to call one of the other partners to borrow his!  Hey, I've never had to worry about bringing airplane keys to an airport with me before..

I met our designated CFI at the airport, and while we waited for my partner to bring keys, we went over emergency procedures and high altitude operations.  One issue right now is that checklists are all over the place - for preflight, there's a preflight checklist but then you have to refer to the book for parts of it. For startup, there's a startup checklist in the manual, but it's not quite right so you have to refer to the separate checklist, but that checklist doesn't have lists for cruise and descent, so you have to look in the's confusing.  One of the most instructive things I did with the Piper Arrow was to make my own checklist, and right after I finish writing this blog entry, I'm going to do the same for 24R.

As for the flight itself, it was awesome.  On the takeoff roll, it took me WAY too long to remember where the airspeed indicator was.  We took off on a "Livermore departure" from SJC, flew over the hills toward Livermore, and as I slalomed some clouds, I realized something: This airplane is not the truck I thought it was. It may look like one, but it handles beautifully, and is fun to fly! It does require more rudder input than I'm accustomed to.

We hung out and did some slow flight, stalls, steep turns - my worst steep turns in a very long time! But, new airplane and all that.  Then back to SJC for some normal landings - I greased 2 of 3, and the other was not bad - but I had a LOT of guidance from the CFI.  He basically handled the radio and the cowl flaps, which I really need to work into my flow.

As a nice bonus, I discovered today that the hourly cost is per tach hour, not per Hobbs hour - that will save me some money!

Another flight is scheduled with one of the partners, who is a CFI, for tomorrow evening. Hopefully I'll have a draft of my checklist done by then. I can't wait!


Ian Reddoch said...

So happy for you - this sounds like one of very few things that can honestly be called a dream come true - and it's one you've worked hard for! So, so glad to see you enjoying it.

MKT said...

Thank you, Ian. Flying it really is like a dream!