We have air news on learning how to fly in the October air news and this article will assist the beginners to keep them aware on the basics in flying.
In this, the first in a new series on flight training aimed specifically at the youngster who has his or her heart set on learning to fly and possibly becoming a professional pilot, Johan Lottering gives an insight on what the novice is likely to experience before, during and after his or her flight. The series will take the reader, month by month through the various steps leading to the ultimate…..
You would probably be calling your mother twice on the same day. Warn her beforehand. The lying on your bed hours afterwards still feeling the effects of three-dimensional motion, the mattress would lift and gently drift into realms of slumber land.
You might be awakened by a sudden tumbling sensation, hurtling towards plains or toy block-sized buildings below only to realize you're warm, safe and secure on your magic carpet. Your heart will be pumping wildly. You'd yearn for dawn to do it all over again.
If you've got it bad, you'll walk down the darkened passage "banking" into the kitchen for a drink of water. The condition is called the "first flight".
Afterwards nothing will compare in beauty to a jabiru, Cessna 172 or Cherokee 140. A dusty old rag wing in the back of a hangar will suddenly seem dainty and sprightly. You'd be patting cowlings affectionately, imagining how they'd feel to the touch in the air. You'd look beyond the grey haze and see towering cumulus clouds billowing, beckoning you to scale their tuft-like snowy cliffs.
You'd run outside stumbling over a roasting barbecue at the sound of a Lycoming or Continental purring overhead. A Pratt and Whitney, old radial or turbofan, might see you dash clean through a shut sliding door.
Your mind would wander incessantly to the little boat-like pitching movement of the aircrafts nose and the awesome wonder of the wings rolling in symphony with the slightest aileron input. Your friends will know something is different about you.
If your bumper sticker, flying jacket, aviator sun glasses, wrist watch and flying magazines in the back of your car don't overcome the lack of discernment on their part, you'd make pretty darn sure by turning any-and I mean any-conversation topic into a discussion about the wonders of flying.
Avgas will smell better than perfume. If someone doesn't stop you, you'd dab on a dash of Jet A1 for after –shave lotion. Getting the point?
Costliest Of All
Lesson one; Exercises One to Five will have the above effects on true grit aviators. It could be costliest flight you'd ever undertake. Afterwards it will never matter again that pursuing other insanely mundane callings like missionary, rocket scientist, president of a country, heart surgeon or engineering professor might cost far less than becoming a pilot and wearing those wings and four gold braided epaulettes.
Those in authority might just as well scrap Exercises ‘One to Ten' for the first flight as, although you'd actually be covering them all from the Instructor's Air Information Circular (AIC), you would hardly be taking it in. If emerging from a proper ground school you would be picking up just about half the full value of Exercise Four on ‘Effects of control'.
The transition between theory and practical flying will be very taxing. The best way to overcome this and a variety of emotions from uncertainty to downright fear is to try and focus exactly on what your instructor is pointing out, at the time it is being pointed out.
Most of the aspects like the earths changing aspect from the air, the general flying areas boundaries and many other important facets will be going "over your head". Don't worry too much about remembering all, but do consolidate before the next flight.
Physically and mentally exhausted, you may very well feel like heading straight to bed after the first flights debriefing session. The best way to achieve an optimum learning benefit is to take a break and return shortly afterwards to sit Idi Amin ‘brrr-brrr' style in the same or similar stationary aircraft with your checklist and notes to mentally review important aspects.
Setting The Standard
Remember that you are laying foundations and setting the standard for the rest of your flying. Your instructor will want to recap in the next lesson about secondary effects of controls and their inter-relationship. Remind yourself of fundamentals pointed out that aircraft attitude in relation to the horizon would give a certain speed and not the other way round.
Try to think of the airspeed indicator as an energy meter and to recall the physical attitudes that have been pointed out.
As your later progress will depend on the level of participation and preparation you put in, review and rehearse the vital actions (the flows) by touch-drills to enhance muscle memory and learning by association. If you get off on the wrong footing, chances are you might be carrying this setback or handicap throughout your curriculum or even your career.
First impressions do count and although your first flight might only be an introduction, the second flight will really matter as that is when your instructor will want to find out how much you had taken in and was willing to remember on the first.
Remember that only perfect practice makes perfect and the information you are committing to memory will be converted to knowledge and later insight and that you will be using those basic procedures for the rest of your life. Check up on yourself by verbally reading the checklist. Your instructor will reciprocate on the same level you are prepared to perform to as soon as you are ready attach deeper meanings and consequences to the checks.
This is an important time to make the decision not to settle for minimums.
The rule of thumb is to fly at least two hours "with your head" for every one hour actually in the air. At this stage, although attending to consolidation, try not to get ahead of the lessons and treat each one as if it is the last and only lesson you will ever get on the aspect.
This "ground flying" approach will help with later consequential thinking and you will soon discover your mind being applied to associated circumstances and influences.
You will no longer just be seeing the ‘plane when walking up to it, but assessing things like overall condition and symmetry. The windsock will no longer just be an object but indicating the general direction for carrying out forced landings, the potential for wind shear and cross wings and even imminent thunderstorm activity.
The approach to the first flight may be the first step towards later consequential thinking and eventually captainship.
Flight Bursaries The Prize In Unique Competition
Wonderboom Airport –based Blue Chip Flight School has come up with an idea which could see four potential students each win a bursary worth R66000 that would be used to contribute towards their training for their Commercial Pilots' Licenses.
The chosen students will receive a fully-sponsored Private Pilots License course involving 45 hours flight training and the entire required briefings .The bursary will take the form of a full refund into the students training account on the successful completion of his or her PPL course.
These funds (up to a total value of R66000 each) will then be used to further pay for their flight training towards a Commercial Pilots License at Blue Chip Flight School only.
One of the conditions of the competition is that the funds are not transferable to any other company, training institution or person.
After completing the necessary application forms obtainable from the school, prospective students will then need to submit an essay of not less than 350 words on one of the three subjects which will be judged by a panel of experts who will choose 20 candidates by the closing date of this coming December 15. These candidates will be interviewed and sent for psychometrical evaluation.
The winning four will be chosen from these candidates and will be notified on January 17 and will then receive their prizes in the form of a contract on January 21, 2011.
Among the conditions involved in the competition are those that an applicant must be a South African citizen; must be between the ages of 17 and 25; must be able to pass an aviation medical; must have the funds available to pay for their own PPL training; must have matriculated with matrix exemption or be in Grade 11 with subject choices for exemption and must be committed to becoming a commercial pilot.
Commenting on the bursary scheme,Renell Venter, general manager of Blue Chip Aviation, said: "The initiative goes a long way to giving something back to the community which has supported us for so long. Further, the school sees it as an investment in the future of aviation in South Africa".