So like most people, I have never flown in the cockpit of an airplane. FUN!!!
I have heard it said that flying is much easier than driving. I guess they have probably flown first. Here is my experience of controlling an airplane for the first time.
Prior to entering the aircraft, I assist (haha, I use the term “assist” lightly as I had no idea as to what I was doing), Tom with the inspection of the aircraft. This is a very detailed inspection and I was impressed. Wait, our very lives depended on ensuring the aircraft was flight worthy, so KUDOS for the inspection! No wonder flying considered safer than driving. I have NEVER checked my automobile fuel for water.
Afterwards, I am allowed to enter the aircraft and we go through the preflight checklist. Very detailed. In my car, my pre-drive checklist is “Enough gas” and “What’s playing on the sports channels”; not so with aircraft. The preflight checklist was about 15 minutes. We checked everything from oil pressure to engine thrust.
Remember me saying, “I heard flying was like driving?” Please forget what I said about flying. In a car you turn the wheel left to go left and right to go right. Too easy. The left pedal is the brake/slow down and the right pedal is the gas/speed up. Too easy. All of that is thrown out of the window with flying.
Tom, explained to me that the yoke (the steering wheel in a car to help you out) enables the aircraft to pitch its nose up and down. By turning the yoke left or right causes the ailerons go up and down, (opposite of each other) which roll the aircraft. To help better visualize a roll; lie on your back and pretend you are an airplane. To roll over onto your stomach, you would turn the yoke. Yea! You have now rolled. The pedals on the floor (Tom, those are for the brake and gas, right?) are used to turn the aircraft both on the ground and in the air, left and right by moving the rudder. I had to retrain my feet to understand that concept.
We are now up up and away! After about 30 minutes, my feet finally understood the concept and I was having a ball. I’m adjusting trim, heading to lakes, following roads, accelerating (more on that later). I’m going up, now coming down, just plain fun!
Looking forward to my next flight!