After a quick tour of the training facility, I hoped into the captain seat of a Cessna 172 with my copilot and flight instructor Richard and we started the checklists – oh so many important things to check. Good thing Richard said a pilot never memorizes the check lists because it is so important not to miss a single item.
Feeling the engine run-up brought shivers and the taxi to the end of the runway butterflies and lift off, an adrenaline rush and up up and away we go!
Although seeing a distant dust storm forming down the valley did cause some concern Richard assured me that we’ll easily be able to skirt it by diverting further west than or original heading. So after quickly gaining my confidence controls were turned over to me and I was able to take the plane through a series of basic maneuvers including climbs, dives, and shallow and steep banked turns – which got the old tummy rumbling just a bit! Think ahead to this as a career I asked Richard how many single engine flights he had before he was “comfortable” and he said 3 – phew, I have time!
We then headed for a fly-over of our house and the Poston Butte golf course and I was able to snap some pictures while Richard held us steady in another steep bank. Then as quickly as it started it was time to head back to the airport.
By far the highlight of the flight was final approach and landing. Hearing the radio chatter and watching Richard expertly control the plane trough some tricky cross-winds was amazing and I snapped a video.