Visibility: less than 5 kilometers
Temperature: 10°C
QNH: 1014hPa
Location: EDAY
Equipment: Cessna 150 (D-EALX)

I have an appointment at a different flight school in EDAY today to sign up for the PPL, the Private Pilots License. It is the next step from my Sports Pilots License.

The new flight school is in the tower building. A friendly office manager welcomes me to a tidy room with large windows. We go through the details and start the paper work.

Next door, a flight instructor is preparing a check ride with another student. It is a rainy day with a low cloud ceiling. The weather is around minimums and they are debating weather or not to cancel the check ride.

New part of the airport
I have been flying in EDAY for a little over a year but I had not been to the round hangar at the far end of the airport. This is where the Cessnas of the new flight school are living.

D-EALX, Cessna 150

Meet Lima X-Ray
My new ship is going to be Lima X-Ray, a Cessna 150 that is older than me. She has the look and feel of an old-timer but I know that her logs are up to date and that she is absolutely airworthy. The aircraft is larger and heavier that the light sports aircraft I had been flying so far, but the cabin is surprisingly narrow. We pre-flight the aircraft and I get my first hands-on experience with a certified aircraft. I read the flight manual of the C150 last week. That helps me now.

We taxi to the runway. The fight instructor operates the radio and I concentrate on steering. On the runway I slowly push the throttle forward. The Rolls Royce engine has a reassuringly deep vibrato. At 60 mph I start taking weight of the front wheel. At 80 mph I carefully lift Lima X-Ray off the runway, ease back on the joke to let her pick up speed close to the ground before I pull her up gently at 90 mph. So far so good.

We climb out of the pattern and break through a layer of scattered clouds at about twelve hundred feet. I know the area but I quickly loose my orientation with the poor visibility and my concentration on the new aircraft. The instructor keeps track of were we are while I do full circles to get a feeling for the handling of the aircraft.

Back in the pattern we do an approach. I am in charge of steering and holding the correct speed. The instructor takes care of the power settings and the flaps. I am pleasantly surprised how stable the glide path is and how easily Lima X-Ray comes down onto the runway. It is a calm day, that certainly helps. On the next round the instructor adds the flaps to my responsibilities and from the third touch-and-go on, I also set the power. I’m officially flying the little Cessna now.

The fifth landing is our last one for the day and we taxi back to the hangar. I’m enthusiastic. Not surprising, I guess…

To be continued…


(originally posted on October 27, 2011 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/d-ealx/)

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