So today was flight number 1 for 1.2 hours. The quick and dirty description of today... Awesome!
So I got to the school a bit early. No worries, I got to check out their new simulators. Very nice. My instuctor was pretty nice. I think her name was Emely. She couldn't have been older than 18 or 19, but she knew how to fly. As a student, I ask questions, lots of questions. She had answers for all fo them. If I ask questions I can then relate that back to my C5 experience and it seems to stick in my head a little better.
We got into one of the sims. They are a bit older sims. They are running X-Plane 8 on some old IBM/Windows 2000 workstations. Their controls, although not set up for a 172 were pretty decent. In the sim we went through an abreviated preflight and check list up to take off. We took off in the sim. Rotated just about 60 knots and climbed out mostly OK. I think it was a bit steeper than she would have liked but I wasn't quite used to the back pressure on the yoke in the sim. After I got that straightened out it was all smooth flying from then on out. I just flew around while my instuctor checked the weather. Weather has been less than perfect all week. We were pretty much the first private pilot flight going up in a few days due to the weather. In the sim she directed me to DFW to do a quick landing. Not that we would ever do that in real life, but that's why we do it in the sim. Cuz we can.
After the sim we went out to the airplane. Hooked up the tow bar and pushed it out of the hanger. Preflight went pretty smooth. Once again I had a ton of questions, she had a ton of answers. Preflight on a 172 is all of about ten minutes top. Preflight on a C5 is about 8 hours, if your really, really hurry. I queezed my big ass into that little cockpit and started running check list. I did a little bit of the radio work. That is more of an art than a talent. Anybody can do it, but some just do it better than others. I'm pretty rusty on my aviation english so I did all the easy calls and the instructor did the more complex calls. Taxi out was uneventfull.
Take off is where all my excitement and worry and curiosity all met. She let me take off by myself. We took off on rwy 33 at Addison (KADS). The winds were right down the runway so it was a pretty easy take off. There were so many things going through my mind that I didn't really get to enjoy the take off. Push in the power, keep it on the center line, watch the airspeed, 55 knots - rotate, 75 knots climbout, 5 degrees climb, keep my heading, what's my altitude, whats my vsi. It all went by in the blur and I wasn't able to really pay much attention to anything else happening.
After we got to cruise I settled down a bit and started to relax. I had less to think about so I could enjoy it a bit more. 2300 rpm, 1500ft altitude, keep my heading, watch for traffic. Much more enjoyable. It wasn't but two or three minutes and we were already at 121 and the tollway. We followed the tollway all the way to 380 and then headed for Prosper. We flew right to my house. Brandt wasn't home yet but we did a 360 right around my house and the neighborhood I live in. Then we headed to the high school to do the same thing. After that we made way for Lake Ray Roberts. A couple of left 360's and right 360's and it was time to head back. Flew down to Lake Grapevine then a slight turn to put us on a left down wind for landing. We were getting a bit bunched up by the time we made it to base we had to hurry things a little bit. RPM 1500, flaps full down, we are over the numbers. Very smooth landing. Little wobbly as I transitiioned from yoke to rudder pedal for steering but I got the hang of it. We didn't stop quick enough to make the first turn off, but made the second. Then it was a short taxi back to the hanger.
Afterwards I spent some time talking with the finance guys and getting my loan stuff taken care of. We are waiting for that to be funded then I'll be full speed ahead. I guess I could go fly again out of my pocket, but I think I'll wait. No need in speeding my money when I can spend theirs. Today was just enough flying to get me completely addicted, as if I wheren't already from childhood.