About to Solo!

Got to spend 2.5 hours today in the air with Richard.  This makes a total of 6.6 hours so far on the Hobbs Meter.  If you ever rent an airplane, this little clock measures the amount of time the engine is running and that equals your rental time.  If you train out of a larger airport like Raleigh-Durham (RDU), you get to pay to wait in line to take-off behind Southwest and Delta.  Luckily, there is no waiting at Sanford Executive Jetport (KTTA).

During our flight, we worked on stalls, S-turns, all kinds of landings and take-offs (short-field, soft-field, engine-out, normal), and spiral descents to simulate engine-out landings.  The spiral descent was a new experience as we climbed to 3,000 feet, cut power and circled our “landing point” in a 45-55 degree bank (reach 60 degrees and you are required to wear a parachute) at 60 knots of airspeed.  You lose about 500 feet of altitude for every 360 degree circle around the point.  That is quite the elevator ride!

People are asking me what type of aircraft am I talking about in regards to mission aviation.  Here is a link to Zenith Aircraft and the Zenith CH750  (http://www.zenithair.com/stolch750/).  This is what I am talking about.  This airplane is able to carry two people and take-off and land in a football field!  Talk about opening up the ability for missionaries to reach remote locations!

Zenith CH750 - perfect for helping pilots get the Word out
Zenith CH750 – perfect for helping pilots get the Word out

Ground School Done!

I finished the 45 hours of Private Pilot Ground School on Monday and made a 94% on the final. Now is the time to take the real deal – the FAA PPSEL (Private Pilot Single Engine Land) exam. I will hopefully get that scheduled next week.

I was also able to fly with Richard for the first time in weeks. The weather has been horrible for a summer in the South. Thunderstorms or rain every day! We practiced takeoffs and landings for the entire time. He says that this is coming back to me and I should be ready to solo again fairly quickly. I am glad he has confidence in me because I feel like I’ve been riding a bull for the entire morning!

Flying!

I went up with my instructor, Richard Taylor, on Memorial Day and again on Thursday.  I logged 1.9 hours of flight time.  Since I trained for 38 hours in 2007, we reviewed what I learned back then and worked on some new stuff.  Richard says that I am not that rusty for laying off 6 years.  We worked on coordinated turns, steep turns, stalls, and landings.  Cessna 152’s seem to drop faster in a stall than the Diamond DA-20 I trained in back in Little Rock.  Maybe I just forgot what it feels like.  Makes for quite the roller coaster the first time!

Here is a picture of my hot rod.

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Richard has been flying for more than 50 years and has flown everything from crop dusters to corporate jets.  He was also an instructor in the Navy.  He said that I would learn to land again on a nice BIG 6,000 ft. runway but that the airport was shutting down the runway to repave the runway and I would takeoff and land on the taxiway.  That will really teach me to land, he said.  We are also going to go to a 2,500 ft. grass strip surrounded by trees later on to, as he says, make flying fun!  I think I’m going to enjoy training with Richard.