Well, today I went for a Trial Instructional Flight at my local Aero Club. My first step to getting my Pilots Certificate.
I decided that I would like to become a Pilot/Get my license after flying commercially when heading to Queensland with my family over the Christmas holidays. For my first actually flying experience I found it fun, and thought that becoming a Pilot or just even getting my license would be a great challenge but an enjoyable reward at the end of my training.
Last year I finally decided to give flying a go. After long hours of trying to find a flying school in my local area, It seemed that my dream of getting my license was not going to happen. Until my Dad suggested I look up Wangaratta Aero Club on Google. Luckily they had a website, which advertised flight training. After sending off a fair few emails to the Aero Club, I had organised to get a gift certificate for a Trial Instructional Flight (TIF) in a Eurofox for Christmas.
I decided to go with the Eurofox because it falls under the Recreational Aviation Australia category, and is quite a lot cheaper to learn in than General Aviation Aircraft.
After having being a little busy during December 2009, and January 2010 fast approaching. I decided to book my TIF for the Saturday January the 23rd. The weeks went flying away very quickly until the day for my TIF came😀.
The 23rd came along. So my family and I headed out to the Wangaratta Airport (YWGT). I headed into the Aero Clubs building to find the Instructors busy on phones and booking in Lessons and flights (to my surprise :P). After a tad, I was introduced for my Instructor for the day, Gavin (His very nice. He had even taught one of the other instructors to fly that I was introduced to so he must be good, haha :D).
It all happen so quick, Gavin handed me a folder and key for the Eurofox. And after looking for a Headset for me, we headed out to the Eurofox. Then finding that Gavin had left he headset and I needed a cushion😛, he headed back to get the ‘goods’. A soon as he returned he fiddled around with his headset and jumped in, and told me about some of the instruments in the plane (to his sadness the big screen which was a GPS had been taken out for some reason, I think he quiet liked the GPS, haha :P). We promptly jumped out and removed the wood and rocks acting as the ‘Chocks’, we pulled the plane out of the hanger. We boarded the plane once again, after checking the fuel and getting me to turn the key and flick a few switches, we were off taxiing. To my surprise taxiing was quiet easy using the pedals😀. We were off to the grass runway. After pushing the throttle in😀 and the plane sprinting down the runway and a little pull on the stick we were off the ground😀. It was great fun (It was pretty stalker-ish looking into peoples properties from the air, hahaha :P)!
We then flew to what I believed was the, Flight Training Area not fair from the airport (but did look a lot smaller :P). Then Gavin told/showed me the different controls and what happens when they are used. Then I got to have a turn at flying the Eurofox. First thing Gavin told me to do is to try the elevator, which is controlled using the stick control column. He said for me to move the stick backwards then forward you can control the pitch of the nose of the plane. I was surprised, you didn’t need to move the stick much to make it move (I pushed it forward a fair bit, but Gavin told me that you don’t have to use to much force to make the plane move, haha :P). I also got briefly introduced how to use the trim and how to test if it works (take your hands off, haha :P).
Gavin then instructed me to move the stick to the left (because we didn’t want to head to Benalla :P). I was once again surprised how easy it was and didn’t have to use much force.
Gavin said it was a little rough today. I didn’t really notice, maybe I expected it to be worse in rough conditions. Gavin also decided to show me what G-force was like, and told me he wouldn’t like to be an astronaut because that’s what it feels like all the time, I agree I wouldn’t want to be one😀. He pointed out some land marks like where Wangaratta was and we also flew near Lake Mokoan.
We then headed to the Airport to do a couple of circuits, first was a touch and go. After doing some radio calls we were slowly getting lower until we hit the runway and which seemed not as bad as I thought it would be (Gavin had reduced the power) we were trailing along the runway,until I got to push the throttle back all the way in again, we went speeding down the runway again and once again we were up in the air. We did another circuit which was a full stop.
Once we were clear of all runways Gavin told other people on the frequency that we were clear. I flicked a few switches that stopped the propeller. We filled out the folder and pulled the plane back in the hangar and Gavin gave my family time to inspect the plane I had just flown😀.
That was the conclusion of me very quick 30 Minute TIF!
It was a great experience and has given me even more determination to get my license. It was really fun, I think anyone who is even thinking about getting there license but not sure if they would like flying the small aircraft, just give it ago!
Now I just have the challenge to save up for future lessons, It is expensive but a great reward at the end of your hard work, and helping the local economy :P!