Learning to fly

The airborne adventures of

Mick West

Lesson Zero - Jan 18th-22nd 2004
Before I actually Started on lessons, I spend a week getting cancelled for mechanical problems and the weather.  This tale is not very interesting, as no flying is involved.  But if you wish to start at the beginning, then this is it.

Lesson One - Jan 23rd 2004
Strictly speaking not a lesson, but I get to fly the plane at last, so I'm going to start counting now.  Herein lies the tale of how I get in the plane, am flown to Malibu and back, and get to steer occasionally, while taking several photos.

Lesson Two - Jan 26th 2004
In which I learn how to go up, to go down, and to go neither up nor down, all while in control of the airplane.  I also lurch from left to right and learn the importance of having something to eat.

Lesson Three - Jan 30th 2000
Where I fly without sickness for 0.9 hours, turning the plane around several times.  I also taxi on the ground without hitting things, and finally visit the flying shop to stock up on flying things.

Lesson Four - Feb 9th 2004
Where I fly WITH sickness for 0.9 hours, and progress slightly from the last lesson.

Lesson Five - Feb 13th 2004
Where I fly fine for 1.0 hours,  see some acrobatics, do a little slow flight, and meet Bruce Dickenson.

Lesson Six - Feb 16th 2004
Where I take off unaided, fly up above the fog and mist for 0.8 hours, then find the airport and land.

Lesson Seven - Feb 23rd 2004
Here I talk a lot on the radio, and fail to stall the plane, despite trying.

Lesson Eight - Feb 27th 2004
An uneventful flight in somewhat windy conditions..

Lesson Nine - March 3rd 2004
A similar flight, but this time get sick.

Lesson Ten - March 5th 2004
Wearing "Sea Bands", I don't get sick.   Fly slowly and stall a bit.

Lesson Eleven - March 8th 2004
I refine my slow flight and stalls

Lesson Twelve - March 22nd 2004
After not flying for two weeks, I don't fly today, but visit the tower, and call it a lesson.

Lesson Thirteen - March 26th 2004
Finally get to fly again!  Lot's of traffic out there as we do the same maneuvers as before.

Lesson Fourteen - March 27th 2004
Where I do more radio work, and perform 80% of a landing

Lesson Fifteen - March 29th 2004
Practicing what to do when the engine stops and plummet to your doom. Or not.

Lesson Sixteen - April 4th 2004
S-Turns in the fog, and then landing twice.

Lesson Seventeen - April 7th 2004
Getting the Weather report, flying to TO, crappy landing.

Lesson Eighteen - April 11th 2004
Bit windy, but a nice lesson, bit of a crappy landing though.

Lesson Nineteen - April 14th 2004
Where I land five times in gusty weather..

Lesson Twenty - April 17th 2004
Where I land six times in really gusty weather..

Lesson Twenty One  - April 18th 2004
Where I land six times in less gusty weather, but improve slightly.

Lesson Twenty Two  - April 19th 2004
Three lessons in three days, as I continue to practice trying to land.

Lesson Twenty Three  - April 21st 2004
More landings, a process of gradual improvement.

Lesson Twenty Four  - April 26th 2004
Some much needed rudder practice, and a few landings

Lesson Twenty Five  - April 30th 2004
Some Touch-and-Go landings, twelve of them!

Lesson Twenty Six  - May 2nd 2004
Six more Touch-and-Go landings.

Lesson Twenty Seven  - May 3rd 2004
Some Touch-and-Go landings, in very hot weather.

Lesson Twenty Eight  - May 5th 2004
My first flight to a different airport!  And it's the busiest GA airport in the country!

Lesson Twenty Nine  - May 7th 2004
We fly over the top of LAX!  Then some maneuvers at 1200 feet over San Pedro

Lesson Thirty  - May 9th 2004
Steep turns in the valley.  Did not get sick!

Lesson Thirty One  - May 10th 2004
A flight to Camarillo at variable altitude.

Lesson Thirty Two - May 20th 2004
Some maneuvers and some landing, and I've officially plateaued, but not in good way.

Lesson Thirty Three - May 21st 2004
Mo poo landings.  Tanya announces her departure to academia.

Lesson Thirty Four - May 24th 2004
A fun final flight with Tanya, as we take my relatives for a spin around LA, and try not to make them sick, with limited success..

Lesson Thirty Five - June 14th 2004
First flight with my new instructor, Craig.  Fun stuff..

Lesson Thirty Six - June 15th 2004
Bunch of landings.

Lesson Thirty Seven - June 22nd 2004
Finally getting the hang of landing

Lesson Thirty Eight - July 1st 2004
Some maneuvers, which I perform badly, but we see some dolphins.

Lesson Thirty Nine - July 2nd 2004
A short lesson, but some high quality landings..

Lesson Forty - July 5th 2004
Another trip to Camarillo, much better this time.

Lesson Forty One - July 20th 2004
My first solo flight, three landings by myself.

Lesson Forty Two - July 22nd 2004
Whereby I become qualified to fly myself to Camarillo, and Van Nuys.

Lesson Forty Three - July 27th 2004
A Solo flight, entirely my myself.

Lesson Forty Four - July 29th 2004
Cross country to Bakersfield and beyond!

Lesson Forty Five - August 6th 2004
Short and soft landings, but not at the same time.

Lesson Forty Six - August 20th 2004
Revisiting the Valley, steep turns, stuff, and Camarillo.

Lesson Forty Seven - August 24th 2004
IFR - Flying in the clouds, and with the hood on.

Lesson Forty Eight - August 27th 2004
Flying to Riverside!  Finally!

Lesson Forty Nine - August 29th 2004
Where I fly around solo in Simi valley, and nearly witness a runway incursion!

Lesson Fifty - August 30th 2004
Where I fly solo to Riverside, 150 miles all by myself!

Lesson Fifty One - Sept 3rd 2004
Where I fly solo to Paso Robles and on to Bakersfield, nearly 400 miles all by myself!

Lesson Fifty Two - Sept 10th 2004
Some work under the hood, recovering from Unusual Attitudes, and Destination Diversions.

Lesson Fifty Three - Sept 13th 2004
Short and soft landings, cut short by some dodgy landing gear.

Lesson Fifty Four - Sept 16th 2004
My sixth solo flight, just did the pattern to practice my takeoffs and landings.  Nice headwind.

Lesson Fifty Five - Sept 20th 2004
Seventh Solo, like the last one.

Lesson Fifty Six - Sept 23rd 2004
A little flight to a little airport..

Lesson Fifty Seven to Sixty Three - Oct/Nov
Seven flights I forgot to write about.



Some Links

  A comprehensive introduction to General Aviation, designed to assuage the fears of those who feel it's a bit dangerous, and should be regulated more, or banned.
aopabutton.gif GAServingAmerica is presented as an educational site, if you are interested in more direct involvement try: http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/

(c) 2004 Mick West