A Flying Update

I decided to take the website down a few weeks ago because I didn’t have the time to update it, but bored over the weekend, I decided to bring it back again. It has been a while since the last update – almost 2 months – and a fair amount has happened in that time, so I might as well talk about the progress made since last writing.

The school did not waste any time in getting us flying and we were all enjoying our first lessons on only the second day, which was great. After a flight of my own followed by backseating somebody else, I felt a little light-headed and had definitely had more than enough flying for one day! The first few lessons were familiarisation with the aircraft – a Piper Cadet – before moving onto some of the manoeuvres; turns, climbs, descent, and eventually, onto takeoffs and landings.

On 11 March, I went up for my first solo flight, which is a student pilot’s first goal. Flying for the first time without an instructor sat next to you is a thrilling but daunting experience. There is nobody to tell you if you are doing anything wrong, and if things do go wrong, there is nobody to correct it for you. After three successful takeoffs and landings in Kissimmee, I returned to the school feeling pretty good!

There have been a couple of incidents over the weeks; one where the aircraft temporarily lost the engine on takeoff and another where one of the cylinders blew (assuming cylinders blow), resulting in me attempting an emergency landing. Being only my third solo flight, it was not a particularly enjoyable experience!

With the first solo flight out of the way, I was able to get started on the cross country and night flying, both of which have been fun. After three cross country flights with the instructor, I was ready to go it alone, but thanks to the weather, didn’t get up until the seventh attempt. I flew approximately 170 miles from Kissimmee to Ocala, onwards to Hernando County and then back to Kissimmee. On the last leg, I managed to get myself lost, which resulted in the flight taking a little while longer than expected!

As I write this, I am waiting to do my next cross country flight, which has also been affected by fog in the area, causing a 2 hour delay. This flight will take me to Crystal River and back again – about a 150 mile round trip. With almost no wind en-route and not a cloud in the sky, it should be a nice and easy flight, and I hope to pick up some photographs along the way.

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