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Flight 1 at SpanaFlight (Total:
3.0 Dual, 7 Landings)
9/13/99 - With Pictures this time!
seemed to take forever to get here. I spent most of my weekend watching
the Jepessen Videos that my course requires. Luckily, the owner loaned me
a couple of the videos so that I could watch them at home.
arrived at Spanaflight at 3:45 for my appointment, and Matt was waiting for me.
We went right off to a classroom and started talking about the traffic pattern
and such. I knew most of what he told me but since it has been several
months since I have studied hard on the subject, I was glad to get the
then went out to preflight the Aircraft. This wasn't the same plane that I
flew last time on my Discovery flight. Same type though. We did a
thorough preflight which took about 25 minutes or so. I attempted to keep
my mouth shut more this time so as not to bleed away the flight time we had
left. This time I actually did the fuel checks and got to finish the
preflight which was nice. We then moved the airplane out, and got in
(slightly more graceful this time than the last time I was in a 172).
went step by step through the startup checklists and started the airplane.
Taxied to Runway 34, completed the pre-takeoff checklists, and took off. I
had the plane mostly this time. Matt had his hands on the yolk
though. I kind of expected this as he and I have never flown together
followed the pattern until we were on the downwind leg and continued our climb
to 3500 feet. We flew to the practice area which was just south of Thun
Field. We spotted a C-141 flying around at our altitude shortly after we
arrived at the area, and watched it doing some maneuvers. The jet was
circling around some and making some unusual maneuvers. Matt ensured me
that we really had nothing to worry about. I got a little spooked though
when the jet was passing off to our left wingtip and started turning towards
us. I think he spotted us though since he leveled out his turn and
continued back toward Tacoma.
started practicing basic elevator trimming procedures as well as learning how to
lean the fuel mixture. We them did the basic straight and level flight,
simple turns, climbing turns, and descending turns. I got some awesome
pictures including one of Mount Rainier. He showed me clearing turns and
then we practiced slow flight. Slow flight was probably the hardest aside
from just maintaining my altitude during a turn. One interesting thing
though about slow flight is that the turns seem to be very fast compared to when
at 90 knots at the same bank angle.
minutes had gone by so far, and we wanted to get some landings in
before our time ran out. So, we turned to the north and started heading
back to the airport. We followed the same pattern that the last instructor
at Spanaflight did, which was to aim towards a big white building (Boeing I
think), descending to 2000, and then turn north until we get to a green
water tower and then turn right to enter the landing pattern at 1500 ft at a 45
degree angle to the downwind leg.
did one touch and go, and then one full-stop landing. I had a little
trouble getting the right pitch angle on landing, and had a hard time reading
the PAPI next to the runway. The VASI at Auburn airport is a lot easier to
read. I banked a little too sharply on my turns to base and final.
Matt stated that my banks should NEVER exceed 30 degrees here. I'll remember
this for sure. Sure don't want to end up landing in the trees or the dump
that is right before the airport.
the second landing, we pulled back in to the parking area. We finished
shutting down the airplane, and pushed it into it's parking place. Matt
took a picture of me in front of the airplane, and then we went in to talk about
a first lesson, Matt stated that I did well, and we covered
the areas that I should watch out for in the future. I had originally
scheduled 2 hours for this flight, but since we started a little early, and
ended late, it turned out being 3 hours. Either way, I had a lot of fun,
and have a lot more faith in my instructor. It turns out that the fact
that I had studied for a few months before I started this training is going to
accelerate things some.
that's all for now. I will take the camera up on my next flight and
attempt to get pictures of the airport and a few of the more prominent landmarks
and important areas (such as that Boeing building, and that water tower which
are important when entering the pattern). I have my next flight scheduled
for Thursday evening. Later.....
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