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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So, now I can say I've flown a plane.

There's me in the co-pilot seat of a rented Cessna 172, with my friend Jer's dad running the show. I got to ride along Sunday, with my hands and feet on the controls the whole time, feeling how it went, and got to do a few climbs and turns myself. First, flying a real plane seems easier than the simulator. Given it's popularity, there's no surprise that most of my flying time in the simulator is on a 172, and so flying one for real wasn't too bad, all the controls were where I expected them to be (though the simulator puts your perspective in the pilot's seat). The plane is just easy to fly. And having G-force feedback, and feedback on the yoke, makes a big difference. You can feel how the plane is slipping through the air, and that brings a lot of confidence the simulator can't match, where you're relying entirely on your eyes and the instruments to tell you what's going on. That said, I think the simulator time really paid off. I knew what I was doing, was able to translate some theory into actual practice, and the whole trip just whet my appetite for more. I've always wanted to be a pilot, but the practical concerns have outweighed that desire. But maybe getting licensed is a goal I can take more seriously as time goes on.

4 comments:

Aaron said...

That's what I thought the first time I few a simulator, which was after flying a real plane (I did takeoff, climb/descent, turning, stalling, and landing): The real plane is so much easier. You can feel where you are and what you're doing. I've never been able to get into simulators because of it. It's really not that hard (well, with an experienced pilot at your side making sure you don't make any mistakes).

I wouldn't mind having my license either, although I've never figured out what you do with it.

Jeremy said...

You go flying, AB! Friends, family, whatever. Fly around. Or rent a plane in Florida and fly to a remote island in the bahamas. ;)

Aaron said...

Wrong Aaron, Jer.

Jeremy said...

... Whoops! Differentiate yourself next time! :)

Have you read my blog?