On the day of my first lesson, I arrived about 20 minutes before my scheduled lesson time of 08:00. As the school doesn’t open until 08:00, I sat around nervously waiting for someone to arrive. The first person there was Gil to open the doors and get the office ready. I nervously walked in to be greeted by Gil with my instructor Steve only a few steps behind me.
Steve is an older, bus driver-clad gentleman who chain smokes small cigars. He took me through to the training room for our pre-flight briefing. As the room filled with cigar smoke, Steve explained the primary and secondary effects of each control surface. He outlined what we would be doing in our first lesson – operation of controls, and gave a basic rundown of the different control functions, their effect and the relevant flight instruments that we would be looking at.
After about an hour of that theory, we headed to the office to get my paperwork completed and sign out the plane. His weapon of choice for the day was a 1976 Cessna C150M, registered VH-JOO. A 100HP Single Engine, High Wing Plane. We proceeded out to the airfield for my first official tour of the Cessna.
For the best part of 15 minutes, Steve took me around the plane and advised of the relevant checks that need to be made prior to each flight. Basically, it involves untying the plane, testing the fuel in each wing for contaminants, checking the fuel and oil levels, checking the leading edge of the propeller, wings and tail plane for damage and ensuring the landing gear is in good order. As this is something that I will have to do each time, I did all I could to memorise the procedure.
Once the external checks were complete, we jumped in to conduct the pre-take off checklist and get aquatinted with the controls and the many instruments and gauges needed during flight. With this completed and my head about explode from information overload, we taxied down to the run-up area. Steve let me do most of the taxiing using the rudder pedals for steering and throttle to control speed. I’m sure with time this will become a boring part of flying, but for now, I could barely contain my excitement at actually being in control of the aircraft. Once the run-up checks were complete and permission for take-off obtained from Air Traffic Control, we taxied out to the runway and took off into the blue yonder.
Steve flew the plane out of the control area and into the Archerfield training area. At this point he demonstrated the primary and secondary effects that manipulation of controls has on the control surfaces. After every demonstration, Steve allowed me to take the controls and test it out for myself. I loved every moment of it! During the lesson, we took off to the east and tracked towards Stradbroke Island, before again turning for home via Jimboomba and Park Ridge.
After landing, Steve gave me a basic debrief of the lesson and booked me in for my next lesson.
Next lesson – Climbing and turning! Can’t wait! 🙂