Steven’s PPL Diary 3: First Takeoff


Straight and level flight
[Exercise 5 – 6]

So with two flights under my belt and a grand total of 1:50hr on the Cherokee you’d expect that I would be masterful beyond all belief, as apparent in some PPL diaries, alas not here my friends. This week I enter the hanger with my logbook and shiny new checklist (Purchased from the school in ‘Week 2’)

Today the briefing was quite simple for straight and level flight covered the various cruise speeds, reasons for using the different speeds, rpm settings and the dreaded PAT (Power, attitude, trim) again, I shall leave you to gleam these tidbits of knowledge yourself. I will advise you to go out and purchase yourself a notebook before this point, as I was told to do during the briefing, lots of numbers/facts and figures to note down. hint: If caught without notebook, use face. hint: If caught without notebook, use face.

With the briefing finished and my log book remaining on the desk (as to not get lost under the seat, again) we hopped up and into the awaiting aircraft. Internal and after start, checks completed (Read: belt fastened) without too much hassle and I was off taxing towards the runway, power and pre-take off checks completed and stopped at the end of the taxiway waiting for take-off clearance.

Now, all I have to do is sit back wait for him to get us into the air and let him hand control once we’re out of controlled airspace. This didn’t happen, first asking me to line up on the centre line, then hoping he’d take control, he had me place my hand on the throttle and steadily increase to full power. Couple of seconds later we were flying, all because of me (and of course, burneoulli’s principle of lift, the aircraft, instructor, air traffic control, you get the idea).

AND the grasping hand of God.

AND the grasping hand of God.

Bumping around and struggling with the damn trim wheel I get to try out the different powers (speeds) and re-trimming the aircraft, different heights, more trimming, slowing down, new attitude, more trimming. All keeping straight and level flight, not as easy as it first sounded… Again, before I knew it, my time was up, pointing back towards the now familiar white blob of an airport I fly the circuit and hand over again for the landing. Shut down check lists done (see, lots of check lists) and it’s the end of another lesson.

Next time: Exercise 7 – Climbing.

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