Marc's Public Blog - Flying


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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

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2004/12/18 My first flight
π 2004-12-18 16:55 by Merlin in Flying

(well, with me holding the stick for the most part that is)
So, as planned I was at the Palo Alto airport at noon today for my introductory flight. The instructor was supposed to chip in his time for free (in exchange for you hopefully picking him when you sign up and select your instructor), but that didn't seem fair since he spent a good two hours with me, and in my book it takes balls to let some random dude fly a plane you're also in, even if there are dual commands (since they don't touch the commands until/unless it's really needed). So, I ended up typing him a little more than his hourly rate, since he well deserved it IMO.
Impressions: it confirmed that flying isn't easy, but at least I wasn't misguided enough to think beforehand that it would be easy. My main problem was really sensory overload with all the commands you had to deal with, and gauges to watch all at once (or at least it felt like it). This definitely reminded me of learning to drive a stick shift in the middle of parisian traffic, worrying about everything around you in addition to the car's controls and shifting gears of course, except that it felt harder :)
Either way, I did ok overall, except for the landing, where I struggled a little bit with the stick because I forgot to also reset the trim since I was too busy looking at all the gauges and doing the approach, and in the end, the instructor did the final part of the landing.
Too bad because my approach was decent otherwise, but I guess one isn't actually supposed to know how to land a plane without instruction, so that's not the end of the world :)

Either way, I just have to confirm which club I want to join (I think I know), and go through the fun new FAA paperwork to make sure that I'm not going to aim a cesna at a building since I'm not a citizen (more paperwork, fingerprints they already have, etc, etc...). If all goes well, the waiting part will happen while I'm gone on vacation anyway.

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