Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bittersweet success - I landed an airplane!

Well, I did it.
I landed an airplane.
The good news...we survived!

My flight instructor suggested we go out with a bang. He wanted me to practice landing procedures and perform what's known as a "touch and go." It's where you land, then take right off again. We climbed into the plane and took off - no problem whatsoever. I still love flying and that won't be changing anytime soon!

Then we "landed" in the air - slowly practicing a traffic pattern while descending from 3000 feet to 2000 feet to "land." The first time going through we would have crashed and burned. I ended up at 2000 feet well ahead of the designated "runway." However, after more practice I got better. Then we headed back to the airport to practice the real thing.

I got to bring us down while my flight instructor did the actual landing, then he gave it back to me and I took off. It was SO cool. The second time we went through the procedure, I brought us in and he was ready to take over if needed, but I LANDED THE AIRCRAFT!!! Oh yeah. It was great.

Update about my instructor. He got the job he wanted and will be leaving for training next Monday. I know he is going to be incredible. The good news is when he completes training he'll be back in the area because he'll be flying out of Des Moines. I might get a chance to see him from time to time and I know his family and girlfriend will be happy to have him in the area too. It's nice to be close to home, yet able to do what you want to do for a career.

A big plus for me - when I talk to him I can pick his brain about flying the big jets. Who better to talk to for research than an airline pilot? :-)

Thanks for being such a super teacher, Ryan and good luck. See you around!

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