View Full Version : I co-flew a real aircraft yesterday

04-19-2005, 09:19 AM
Just had to share:

For Christmas, my wife got me a 'pilot for a day' program at a local airport. One hour ground school + one hour air time.

I chose a Diamond Katana; it looks great and has a control column and throttle similar to WWII a/c. A Cessna 152 - the other popular trainer - has a yoke, and a throttle that looks like it belongs on a BBQ.

Anyway, it was a fantastic experience. Flying the sim these past months gave me a whole lot of theoretical preparation, but nothing prepared me for the sensation of flight in such a tiny aircraft.

I was given the left hand seat and following the pilot's verbal instructions (and with some help on the rudder - which I found the toughest control to get used to) I was allowed to take off, climb, cruise, turn, descend and land - he did a touch and go and then he talked me through bringing the a/c around a second time and in for a pretty smooth full stop.

We hit some pockets of what the instructor referred to as 'moderate' turbulence - which feels quite a bit different than when you're siiting in an airbus reading the morning newspaper http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Now, a day later - as some of what I experienced has sunk in - I want to go back up.

04-19-2005, 09:22 AM
Welcome to the madness!

You'll have burned through a few thousand in no time on your quest for a license.


Great though, isn't it. I know there's no comparison to the real thing, but I still think Maddox's sims have the sensation of flight down best of all the PC products out there. Looking forward to whatever advances the big 4.0 brings in that department, too.

04-19-2005, 10:03 AM
Tally:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>A Cessna 152 - the other popular trainer has...a throttle that looks like it belongs on a BBQ. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I *never* thought of that. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/icon_twisted.gif


04-19-2005, 10:31 AM
Ahhh... you guys fly!

The money drain has begun.

I recently costed out a recreational pilot's license ($5500CDN) and purchased copies of the ground school text - From The Ground Up - and the Canadian Government Flight Training Manual, which I've been studying for weeks.

I had no idea that finding IL2 in a $20 discount bin 16 months ago would lead to this http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

It does, however, seem like a good way to blow cash. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

04-19-2005, 12:43 PM
Welcome to the club, if you get a chance learn in a Luscombe, you'll be able to land just about anything if you can master that!

04-19-2005, 01:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Now, a day later - as some of what I experienced has sunk in - I want to go back up. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Face it, you have the fever. It's incurable too, BTW. Well, abject poverty can lessen the ability but not the itch. Personally, I've become a true beggar from my friends who still fly to con my way into getting some air under my butt...

04-19-2005, 02:13 PM
Yep, I hope your wife knew what she was getting herself into. . . a lifelong addiction most probably!!

I wouldn't recommend the Recreational Certificate as the time requirements are only a little shorter (10 hours) than the requirements for a full fledged Private Certificate. The Recreational Certificate is rather limiting and if national averages are correct, you will still have 40 hours in your logbook to get it.

My suggestion is to find a Mentor, a good place is through AOPA (link at end), and then find the right school, by doing a little online research, talk to your mentor etc. and when you have one or two facilities to compare take a short flight or even just a ground lesson with the instructors. Finding the right CFI is critical, ask questions, that you already know the answer to and see if he can communicate well to you, be sure that you can get along with them, not as firends but as instructor and student, they may be great fun to hang out with, but you don't want a strange sense of humor getting in the way of your flying. You may want to go with your mentor to the schools and see what he/she has to say about the aircraft, and rental/instuctional costs. As soon as you can (after you have found what your selcted school uses invest in the groundschool materials. Study the written materials so that when you start your actual training you don't need to take up extra time with the ground instructor. The idea is, you can aim towards your private certificate int eh minimal time, which may be the same time it would take for you to get the Recreational Certificate.

Hopefully you can fly with your mentor now and then (but they are NOT an insturctor, well, unless they are!) and maybe on a sim like FS2004 to support the book knowledge you have, and to help you get used to the instrumentation. I finished my PPASEL in 40.1 hours and while I had a lot of previous experience, I think that with the help of a mentor, good school selection, and good study habits on your part you can get near that too!

Looking back on it, training was as fun as the things I have done since then, I am not saying that it is something to be rushed through, I just don't think it needs ot take the 70-85 hours of the US national average.

Info about AOPA's Project pilot Mentor Program:


AOPA's Flight training Magazine Page (quizzes, info etc):

Also, this may be helpful infinding the right instructor: http://www.nafinet.org/directory/flight_lookup.html

04-19-2005, 02:18 PM
LOL b1tch about the Cessna 150 all you want, it's still a more high performance aircraft than the Katana. Katana's nothing more than a motorglider... I was flying one into a headwind, and it was so slow it flew backwards. True story.

OK, I am biased. They are comparable, depending on which Katana you fly. The C1 is actually more powerful by some 20-odd horsepower. I learned to fly on a 150 so I'm a bit biased towards it.

Have fun with it though. Flying is one of the most liberating experiences I can think of.

04-19-2005, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the advice guys - I'm really thinking about doing this.

I'm from Canada - Montreal to be exact - and I've got two flying schools to choose from in and around the city. yesterday I flew with one. In a week or two I'll take an introductory flight with the other - probably in a Cessna 152 - and compare my impressions.

I'm a self-study person by nature and I've been soaking up the information in the two titles mentioned above for some time. It was nice to see that I was familiar with pretty much everything the intructor went through yesterday.

The sim has helped so much. Sitting in the cockpit yesterday it was great to be reading real gauges and using a real control column - minus the gun button of course. And when he told me to 'trim my nose down a bit and head for that town over there on the right' well, it was a very cool moment.

The Katana is fitted with a little 75HP engine and I was thinking how incredible it must be to have a Merlin or an Allison up front and what skill - not to mention courage - it must have taken to dogfight in any of the a/c we fly for fun in the sim.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: picking up IL2 - which happened only because I was stuck in line while Christmas shopping and saw it in a discount bin - has been a life-changing experience.

Whether I get my license or not, this trip is a blast.

04-19-2005, 03:17 PM
That sounds real cool, I happen to fly a Cessna 152 over the Florida Keys occasionally, here are some pics. I have about 20 hours and right now I have to start hitting the books, the truth is I just want to fly not study so much but if I want my license I am going to have to buckle down a bit...



04-19-2005, 03:40 PM
Nice pics!

Have you soloed yet? How does the 152 handle?

04-19-2005, 05:14 PM
The 152 is pretty tame and very predictable.

I got my license in a PA-22 Colt. Those are FUN little planes and other than being ugly as sin, a LOT of fun to fly.

Just remember this, an airplanes is a device for turning money into noise.

ROUND motors make BEAUTIFUL music. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

If you have the $$ and the time plus the inclination, GO FOR IT!!

One more thing, before you decide to give it all up, take a spin in an open cockpit bird. Life is GLORIOUS when you're low and slow. Grab a ride in a Stearman if you can swing it. Wonderful pieces of machinery they are.

04-19-2005, 05:29 PM
THe 152 ROcks..............................
How can i justify this? well I have rebuilt several and some, they take a hell of a lot of punishment, they are simple in construction, the legs are spring steel tube and i have yet to see one break, the aircraft fails first.... I have rebuilt ones written of badly that have stalled in nose and wingtip first from about 20 plus feet, there was a crease on the fuselage where the wing had literally folded back and hit it, then sprung backout...................the nose was all but in the cockpit... There is nothing ON THE MARKET TO REPLACE IT PERIOD....... Cessna costed making them again and the 172 would have cost the same to build, remember its all labour a 152 is only about 6 inches narrower etc, so 6 inches of metal is peanuts in price, the labour was the killer.......
Katanas, worked on them too........... comments, look stylish......... underpowered, Rotax are awful engines........... Although there is a continental version now i believe...Fuselage is plastic.....sorry fiberglass and for a major repair in my opinion you are stuffed, I could reskin a 152 in my sleep IT IS SIMPLE and their lies its secret................ it can be rebuilt and rebuilt using cheapish parts and will go on literally for ever............... a Katana you cant.......................... Might have all the bells and latest toys in it but its not the best trainer you could wish for.... often considered buying a scrapper and literally rebuilding it, my labour is free and i have the technology so to speak................ one person i know rescued one from a SKIP and it is being rebuilt by him IT cost him NOTHING... the Eng is the expense with avionics etc next