First Flight

Okay, I’ve flown in big jets before, but flying a small plane is totally different. I met Gino at the Santa Monica observation deck, and we drove over to the plane. We checked it out, called ground control to get permission to move to the run up area and were on our way in no time. I didn’t drive the plane on the ground (probably a good thing), but it seemed pretty basic. Probably the most unusual part is controlling the throttle by pushing and pulling a knob.

We didn’t have to wait at all for permission to take off, so before I knew it we were flying down the runway and in the air. There were some small gusts, so I’m glad I wasn’t in control. I’d like to be better at searing at low speeds before I try doing it at 65 kts. The climb into the air was a lot softer than I’m used to. In a jet you’re really smashed into the seat. In the Cessna, we were just in the air and floating up. Geno did the noise abatement maneuvers at the end of the runway and made the right turn at the shoreline.

Once we were up a ways and moving in the right direction, he let me take the controls and do some straight and level flying. Pretty quickly he spotted some traffic at about 2 o’clock and took the controls back to keep us separated. I flew us out to Point Dume. He did some clearing turns to make sure that the area was safe, and then let me try some full 360 turns. I had Geno do some stalls, and he did some nice tight turns. The sun was going down, so we started to head back.

There wasn’t much traffic, but the few plane we saw we were able to not run into. Clouds had started to form over the airport, so it’s probably a good thing that we went back when we did. The landing wasn’t exactly smooth, but fine. We closed up the plane, and drove back to the car parking lot.

When I was done I felt very excited. It was a lot of fun like riding a roller coaster and being able to change the track at your whim. It was also cool how much my time in flight sims made me comfortable with the instruments and mechanics of flight. I did end up with the slightest hint of motion sickness, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem, and it’ll probably go away as I get more experience. I’m looking forward to spending more time in the air.

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