Friday, May 23, 2008
One Zero Right.
We had a nice long flight today but I'll keep it short. I preflighted the plane, taxied out to the runup area (where we check the engine and major systems for correct operation before committing to flight). Jimmy had me handle all of the radio communications, which actually was easy since I modified a cheat sheet to be kind of a flow chart. I just followed the chart and the radio calls became easy. But enough of that. After the runup, Jimmy casually mentioned some procedure and then said "...because you'll be taking off today." Yikes!
But that's what I did. I made the radio call, waited for a Cessna 172 to land, taxied out onto the runway, and pushed the throttle all the way forward. For the most part I kept the plane centered and straight, and right on cue the front nose gear began to shimmy just a bit, so I eased the nose off the ground. After we got enough speed, the plane lifted off the runway and that was that. I climbed out to pattern altitude (1000 feet above the ground) and departed south to my most favorite practice area.
Jimmy dialed in MSP int'l to see if they'd give us traffic advisories again, but before we could talk to them, we heard them warn a Cessna 172 (yes there are tons of 172s around) that a "slow moving aircraft was northwest of them at 3000 feet". Jimmy looked at me with a grin and said, "That's us." They actually passed pretty close, and while we weren't in danger, it illustrated why it was a good idea to ask for help whenever it was available. He then made his request for traffic advisories from MSP international and we were assigned a transponder code, which allows the tower to keep track of us better.
After that we practiced cool things like turns around a point, square turns, and s-turns. Essentially, these are drills that are designed to teach a student pilot how to stay on course with wind coming from a given direction. I didn't find it all that hard, and it was really cool maneuvering the airplane while keeping track of features on the ground.
Jimmy let me find and fly to the airport, then make a right turn approach to land. I got to try a forward slip to bleed off altitude which went ok at first, then I pooched it up real good and Jimmy took over and landed.
Next week: I continue my training according to a predetermined plan!