Studying to Fly: Stage 1 and a pair of Written Checks Full, Flight Coaching Underway

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That’s us, coming in to land at BFI following my first coaching flight with Galvin Flying – Picture: Huy Do

This can be a continuation of my multi-part sequence on studying to fly. You’ll be able to learn the introduction right here.

As of now, I’ve accomplished the stage one and two ground-school exams. These exams are administered by the ground-school teacher at Galvin Flying and function checkpoints; they don’t rely towards the FAA examination.

I’ve handed them each, which is encouraging (a passing grade is 70% – I did fairly a bit higher than that).

We’ve already lined primary aerodynamics, powerplants, flight devices, airspace, airports, communications, and flight security. We simply wrapped up the excellent climate and FAA regulation sections; now it’s on to flight planning, which is the place the mathematics begins. We’ll study to compute issues like gasoline consumption charges, time/pace/distance, endurance, airspeed, density altitude, and wind correction angles.

Believe it or not, this weather stuff is starting to make sense

Consider it or not, this climate stuff is beginning to make sense

Floor faculty wraps up on Might 25th with a complete information take a look at, which is principally a full-on apply model of the right FAA examination.

Theoretically, if we’ve efficiently accomplished the course, we’ll then be ready to plunk down the roughly $165 to take the FAA written take a look at; a grade of not less than 70% is required to move.

I’ve additionally began flight coaching. I didn’t point out earlier than, however principally my butt is a bit too heavy for the Cessna 152, which is the plane I’d initially deliberate to coach in, primarily for the $60/hour value financial savings over the bigger C172. Placing two 200 lb. grownup males (my CFI isn’t a small man, both) in a C152 means no cross-country flights, because the plane’s most payload restrict leaves room for not more than half of tank of gasoline. I received’t lie, although, I do just like the bigger airplane.

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Aviation charts also have a bit of a learning curve

Aviation charts even have a little bit of a studying curve

My first lesson with Carl, my CFI, was in a static (which means not shifting, though it does have a hydraulic system that simulates management resistance) FAA-approved, OneG G650 C172 flight simulator. As such, it even has a registered tail quantity for logbook and upkeep monitoring. Galvin additionally has a full-motion simulator, however I’ve not used it but.

So, for the primary lesson, I principally did a simulated takeoff, a flight to the native apply space, and a return. I managed to crash the sim when touchdown. It was a humbling expertise that felt uncomfortably actual.

Perhaps it’s as a result of I’m not a gamer and am unused to such experiences, or possibly it’s as a result of I believed I’d simply waltz in and nail it, however I went residence a bit extra shaken than I anticipated I may very well be following a simulator flight. Perhaps that’s why Carl likes to begin individuals within the sim — it’s a great way to rid of us of any pretenses that that is a straightforward factor.

My pre-flight briefing for ground-reference maneuvers

My pre-flight briefing for ground-reference maneuvers

My second flight lesson was an actual flight in a C172 on a gloriously clear Sunday morning. We began the session by spending 45 minutes on a really thorough coaching preflight of the airplane, going slowly by means of all the checklists, with Carl explaining the small print behind every merchandise.

Taxiing is, nicely, form of a visit. You don’t steer these planes with the yoke; that’s related to wing management surfaces that want a whole lot of wind flowing over them to do their jobs. You steer along with your ft, utilizing both the brakes (the highest every rudder pedal additionally serves because the brake for both the left or the suitable wheel), or the nose-wheel steering, accessed through the underside of every pedal. It takes some critical apply to maintain the airplane monitoring even near straight.

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Talking of taxiing, at a Class D airport like Boeing Area you’re in frequent communication over the radio. You want tower clearance to taxi, then takeoff clearance earlier than leaving, together with having to communicate with the tower whereas within the Class D airspace, after which tower acknowledgement to re-enter the airspace, then clearance to land, then clearance to taxi again to the ramp, and so forth. One more complete set of procedures to study.

Getting ready to run the checklists

On the point of run the checklists

Anyway, as soon as we stopped on the run-up space to do the pre-takeoff engine and electrical checklists, Carl carried out the takeoff, handing me the controls at about 200 ft AGL (above floor degree; aviation loves its acronyms). I flew for the remainder of the hour, touring to a close-by little bit of airspace referred to as, creatively sufficient, the northeast apply space, which is positioned a couple of dozen miles northeast of Boeing Area.

It was considerably turbulent (Carl later described the situations as being “a bit zesty”), so it was tough to maintain the turns clean after we saved getting knocked round. Nevertheless it made for superb apply – Carl talked me by means of making degree turns, climbing turns, and descending turns whereas bouncing round a bit. The one-hour flight was over in a seeming eye blink.

Living the dream. Photo: Carl Sanman

Residing the dream – Picture: Carl Sanman

The general good climate additionally meant very crowded skies (they don’t name Seattle the Jet Metropolis for nothing).

I flew again to BFI, then Carl took over for the downwind leg and touchdown, as a result of a enterprise jet was on brief last to the massive runway similtaneously we had been lining up behind one other Cessna on the smaller, parallel runway.

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The jet landed beneath and behind us, and, on the identical time, the Cessna forward of us determined to do a go-around, after which we landed. Everybody was in touch with, and directed by, the management tower. Regardless of how hectic that sounded, every little thing went very easily.

This studying course of has principally changed into a full-time job.

And do I ever have a whole lot of work to do.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR – SEATTLE, WA Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural, aerial, aviation, and industrial photographer, a contract photojournalist, and a confirmed AvGeek.

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