Kristen Seaman, May 1st, 2013
One of the moments I was most looking forward to when I was a student pilot was taking others on introductory flights and sharing the joy of aviation with them. Since receiving my private pilot certificate, I’ve flown four people who had never been in a general aviation aircraft before, or at least not one that was as small as the Cessna 172 that I fly. Not only was it a learning experience for those I flew, but it also taught me a lot and exposed me to situations I never experienced as a student.
The first time I took a passenger, I was flying one of my best friends whom I had blown off plans with a few times due to my rigorous training schedule in the weeks leading up to my check ride. Garrick had been in a general aviation plane before on a skydiving trip, but he hadn’t been in a four-seater like this or been at the controls of the plane. The day we were slated to fly, I had been monitoring the arrival of a cold front moving through the area, and called Garrick at the last minute to tell him the flight was still on. With the short flight I had planned, I felt confident that we could fit it in before the front pushed through the area. We took off and went southwest to Winchester, Virginia (KOKV). As soon as we touched down, I made a split second decision to do a touch and go (which I was used to doing with my instructor because she would raise the flaps for me). That went off without a hitch, and we were on our way back to Frederick in no time. Read More >>
Neil H, February 4th, 2013
There's nothing quite like making laps around the Statue of Liberty at 150 miles per hour. Of course, I can't honestly say I felt the wind blowing through my hair, but at 1500 feet the experience is exhilarating enough.
As if flying feet away from the New York City skyline isn't your dream flight, try bringing along a passenger. Better yet, bringing a passenger who never even knew the world of general aviation existed. I think you get the point-- this is a really cool flight. Cool enough that I've flown the Hudson Corridor nine times, and have another flight scheduled for next week.
Read More >>
Kristen Seaman, December 26th, 2012
Well, it’s been about three months since I last blogged. It’s been a whirlwind, and I apologize for the extensive post before you, but I promise it has a happy ending.
About a month ago, my instructor informed me she had a date in mind for my checkride. Then reality set in. I had exactly 3.5 weeks to prepare, and the thought terrified me. I hadn’t yet flown my full 10 hours of solo time that is required, hadn’t had many successful short and soft field takeoffs and landings, nor had I practiced crosswind landings on more than one occasion.
My biggest concern, however, was preparing for my oral exam, which would be a 1-2 hour quizzing session right before my actual flight test. We started with one hour study sessions before work, covering a new set of topics every day. I could get the information to stick for one day, but didn’t feel that I was retaining a whole lot. Read More >>
LGF Guest Blogger, December 10th, 2012
My Flight Training Story by Guest Blogger, David Gianna
Greetings - I am high-time student working towards a private pilot license. Like many people, I have had to endure many obstacles and have had to postpone or delay my training numerous times. Mostly I have trained in Cessna 172 aircraft, spent some time in Piper Cherokee and Archer aircraft, and even flew Schweizer sailplanes as part of my primary training.
My obstacles were many: Lots of travel time for work, building a new home, adoption of children, financial issues, working abroad, weather, even a plane incident that destroyed my primary trainer. Presently, I fly with a flying club based in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Here is my story. Read More >>
Neil H, December 7th, 2012
All pilots and prospective pilots remember the excitement of the first time they got to take the control of an airplane in flight. I recall my "Discovery Flight" when, passing through 1000 feet, the instructor sitting next to me said, "why don't you hold the stick and make a turn to the right." What a student does in this situation says so much about the pilot they will become, even if the whole moment happens subtly. I grabbed the stick with a tight grip, gave it a quick snap to the right, and put the plane in an instant 30 degree bank. Of course, as a novice, the Instructor gave me a, "Whoa there, no need for so much pressure on the control, try doing it gentle like this" as he demonstrated a boring slight bank angle. However, gentle was his style of flying. And not mine. When I am the pilot, I fly the way I want to fly, safely. I want to keep my blood pumping and make every moment exciting, as I'll have plenty of time to relax on the ground. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, November 26th, 2012
Benet Wilson requested that readers of her AOPA Blog post send her their favorite training & flight apps. After writing a response, and I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, I thought this would make a good post in the Let's Go Flying Blog as well.
Since I am an avid geek when it comes to flying apps and during my training tested out a number of iPad and iPhone apps, here are the ones that I think are the best and most useful apps on the market for students and pilots alike.
For moving maps and navigation there are a few good choices, and there were specific things I liked about each of the apps below, but in the end, WingX Pro7 is the one that ended up on my home screen. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, October 9th, 2012
So here I am, at the end of this journey. Along the way I have written something about nearly every lesson, for the most part, selfishly, to help me understand and reflect about what I'm going through in the hope that it will make me a better student, and ultimately, a better pilot, but perhaps also through this journal, to help others understand what the process of learning to fly is like, at least from one other person's perspective. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, October 4th, 2012
This has been a tough couple of weeks. After flying 3, 4, even 5 days a week all summer long, I have come to the end of my flight training and have only flown once in the past week, which at this point seems more like a month.
Today was knowledge test day, and while I have studied as much as I possibly could throughout the summer I still felt like there were areas where I could have used more time. Personally, I found it difficult to prepare myself for the written exam, not so much comprehending the particular areas of knowledge, but in psychologically preparing myself and trying to predict what might be asked, which, of course, you can't do.
Here's a few things I'll say about the whole process. Read More >>
Kristen Seaman, September 27th, 2012
For those of you who have been following me on this blog, you might recall one of my first posts, chockfull of different quotes describing how it felt to experience the freedom and beauty of flying. I ended it with Orson Welles’ words of wisdom, “There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror.” I went on to say that I anticipate it being a long time before I ever get bored flying an airplane. Well, on my first solo cross country yesterday, I can honestly say that even with all the gorgeous scenery and thoughts of “this is so awesome”/”I am so cool” running through my head, I found myself bored in an airplane for the first time.
My solo cross country has been a long time coming. Before I went to AirVenture, I was getting super close, but weather delays kept me from ever reaching my intended destinations on my practice cross countries. After AirVenture, as some of you know, I was feverishly studying for my FAA knowledge test. Getting back to flying after being out of the loop for almost two months was rough. The plane felt so foreign to me. I was scared that I had lost my touch. However, a few cross countries later, I was feeling secure being back in the saddle. Read More >>
Blaine Transue, September 27th, 2012
Having made it reasonably well through my mock check ride, and with less than 2 weeks left before the real deal, and no time left on the "lesson" clock, I decided to knuckle down and use any available time to study.
One of the things that's been gnawing at me throughout this process is the limited time I seem to have to learn specific things, like getting a real handle on the Garmin 430's in the cockpit of the Cessna, so last week I found and installed a 430 simulator on my computer. I had actually been looking for one for the past couple of months but hadn't come up with anything until one day last week, when my CFI sent me a link to one he had come across. Read More >>