Thursday, October 12, 2006

Drapes (Finally) goes flying

The first thing that hits you about flight training is the astonishing number of checks you have to carry out not just on the ground but in all phases of flight. It took nearly 40 minutes of checks before we even left the ground. They say they aircraft is ready to fly when the paperwork weighs the same as the aircraft. Even before the 4o minutes of ground checks there was the mass and balance sheets to complete and the ATIS (weather) report to check. I'm glad I paid attention in groundschool (well most of the time).

Once in the air and at around 4000ft, I was handed the controls for the first time. Within about 5 minutes an F-14 jet fighter flew almost directly overhead (We have to stay below 5000 ft to avoid them) and my immediate thoughts were that I was going to break all sorts of records for the quickest ever interception.

The rest of the lesson was spent getting the feel of the controls and about 50 minutes later we landed at a small airfield called Gila bend). We swapped over and I was now "backseating" as my flight buddy Merel took over and repeated the lesson I had just done on the trip back to Goodyear airport, our base.

Fantastic fun and I can't wait to get out again (tomorrow).

Landing at Goodyear airport

Arizona from the air (City of Poenix top left of picture)