I’m a pilot!

by Berck

Finally! It seems to have taken slightly longer than forever. I’ve got nearly 60 hours; it should have taken more like 40. The national average is more like 80, but those are people who fly once a week or once a month.

The scary thing is just how little I actually know and how little experience I have. Sure, I can fly, but I can only imagine how much trouble I could get in were I rich enough to have my own plane and decide to go fly across the country. Before I started I thought I would know more when I finished than I do. The only thing scarier than that is that I’m more knowledgeable than many people I’ll be sharing the skies with, who are also rated pilots. It’s amazing there aren’t more accidents than there are.

After a couple of flights, it seemed that while my landings aren’t that bad, they aren’t all that consistant. I talked to Dad today, and without ever having flown with me, but by knowing me, he managed to tell me the exact same thing that everyone who has flown with me has said: I overcontrol the airplane. Apparently, everyone does at first, but I tend to have more problems than some people. Part of it is that all of my prior experience in a moving vehicle is driving a car. Driving a car is quite predictable in that when you make a control input you get an immediate response. An airplane isn’t quite like that, particularly at slow airspeeds. But I’m even worse, since an instructor at the racetrack provided the exact same comments: I tend to overcontrol the car.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Instrument training is next– where I learn to fly without looking outside the airplane, so that I can fly in clouds. A whole new set of challenges and problems completely unrelated to those I’ve been facing. And I’m not even convinced that I’ve overcome all the previous challenges.

One Response to “I’m a pilot!”

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