Now is When We Crash the Plane


Flight 2 & 3

I’ll combine my 2nd and 3rd lessons together because I had them back to back.

We ran through the same checklist as I did with my first flight except this time I did the checking instead of my instructor doing it.  Shortly there after we taxied down the runway with me steering the plane.  By the third lesson I was staying on course much better than the first lesson (lol).

I had a little trepidation at take off when my trainer, his name is Tim, had me control the yoke (used to control direction while in the air) while he controlled the throttle and the peddles (used to control direction while on the ground (the peddles are also used to control the rudder while in the air, but we’ll get into that later)).  At the third lesson, Tim had me control everything at take off.  That was a bit nerve wracking until we got up into the air.  I kept thinking I was going to drive off the end of the runway before we got airborne.

Once we got airborne and reached a height of 3000 feet we reviewed what had been gone over before.  Once that was done, Tim asked me to combine elevation changes with turns.  The idea is to change elevation at a certain rate of feet per minute combined with turning at a particular angle, so that at the exact moment that the new heading is reached, the proper elevation is also reached.  In order to properly do this I had to control the yoke with my left hand (turning clockwise or counter clockwise to set the proper angle for turning, plus pushing or pulling to set the angle of ascent or decent) and handling the throttle with my right hand.  Once I got comfortable with this Tim tossed in using the rudder as well.  So, by the end of the lesson I was using controls with each foot and each hand at the same time!

Soon the lesson was coming to an end and I headed back toward the airport.  As we drew closer to the runway I kept waiting for Tim to take over the controls.  His reply to my questioning look was to calmly say, “Now is when we crash the plane.”  He then explained that when coming in for a landing I should aim for the numbers at the end of the runway as if we were going to crash into them.  During the 2nd lesson Tim finally took control of the plane when we were about 200 feet from the ground.  During the 3rd lesson he didn’t take over until we were about 50 feet away.  I’m wondering how soon it will be before I’m landing the plane myself?  As quickly as he is teaching me, I won’t have long to wait.



Dan Zirkle, a close  friend of GoG, is embarking on an exciting endeavor to earn his pilot’s license.  We can think of few more awesome challenges, and even fewer accomplishments, of which,  we would be more jealous.  We are excited and honored to host Dan’s blog about his adventures in flight.  If you are interested in Dan’s adventures and would like to offer words of encouragement, please leave a comment below.