Wow.. it’s time to break out the flying blog again. I can’t believe that it’s been about a year to the day of my last post, but here I am finally starting my Instrument Training. I’ve been flying but not blogging (sorry!) over the last year and have had some awesome experiences, but today… today opens a new chapter in my piloting education.
I’m flying with Tom Fischer at Fischer Aviation out of Essex County Airport (KCDW). To change it up, I’m flying a low-wing Piper Cherokee as opposed to the high-wing Cessna I’m used to flying. That right there adds a little bit to the workload of flying – fuel pump on/off… switching tanks… which way do I turn the trim? Where the hell is the switch for this.. that.. that other thing? Wow, there’s a lot to get used to – like getting into a new car and trying to figure out how to turn the heat on. But, it’s a neat little airplane with a small glass panel, and great visibility because the wings aren’t in the way. I like the idea of getting used to a different type of airplane. I think it’ll make me a better pilot in a number of ways and increase the comfort level when switching other types of planes.
So today’s flight can be described as full sensory overload. Luckily Tom handled all of the navigation and communication. Just trying to hold heading, altitude and follow instructions from ATC while getting used to the new airplane proved challenging on the way out to Orange County (KMGJ). If I were to get the radar track from today’s flight, I’m sure it would look more like I was on a slalom course than a direct route to the airport.
After a touch and go at Orange County, it got a lot better. I got a better feeling of the flight characteristics and got used to the CDI needle display. I felt a lot more focused on the way back to Caldwell and was able to keep my assigned heading and altitude. Maybe next time I can put some brain power into navigating.