Ecosse_821

Veteran Flight Simmer - First REAL flight!

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Posted (edited)

For Christmas last year, my wife got me a voucher for a "fun flight" at our local airport, KCMI, with the Parkland College Institute of Aviation in Champaign, IL.  These flights are 30 minutes with a flight instructor, but generally, the client is strictly a passenger.  We did the flight last month.   I told my wife and my son (my son came along for the ride) that I thought there was a small chance I would be allowed to take the controls briefly, most likely in level flight at altitude.

The instructor talked to me for a few minutes as I told him about my sim flying experience (almost 20 years), and asked me what I would be comfortable doing.  I told him whatever he was ok with, lol!

The flight was in a fairly well-used but excellently maintained Archer III.   We did the walk-around, and he had me get in the left seat!   We went through the checklists and I did all the pre-flight flows.   

Essentially, I flew the entire flight from takeoff to landing!   The instructor worked the radios and the elevator trim control.  I did everything else.  We flew about 5 miles to my son's house, did a couple of photo laps, then headed out another 8 miles to my house, and did the same.   We then flew back to the airport and got to watch an Embraer 145 (American Eagle) take off as we were flying the base leg.  I then landed the plane perfectly on the numbers!  

I have been lucky enough to do many cool things, and have flown as a passenger on many enjoyable commercial flights.   But this was probably the coolest thing I've ever done.   I still can't believe it.

Edited by Ecosse_821
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Great fun wasn't it David?  I'm interested to know if you found landing a real aircraft is easier than landing a sim aircraft?  I know it always has been for me.

Noel

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Hi David,

I feel your joy ! I did exactly the same 3 years ago for an 1 Hour flight in a C172. Was a very great experience and fun !

The fist 30 minutes was supposed to be ground training about flying an aircraft, controls and so on.. and the second 30 minutes to be flying it. When I talked to the instructor about my flight sim experience (1000h+) he told me : forget about the ground training and lets fly it for 1 hour....

@birdguy  I found landing a real aircraft is close to landing a sim aircraft but the sim aircraft is easier to land.

Mike

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2 hours ago, birdguy said:

Great fun wasn't it David?  I'm interested to know if you found landing a real aircraft is easier than landing a sim aircraft?  I know it always has been for me.

Noel

I found it easier because I could see everything in three dimensions. 

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Flew my first actual flight a little over a year ago, and I actually didn't even see it coming. I was meeting up with a buddy of mine from school, who I hadn't seen in  a while since he lives in Brooklyn, and I was living in New Jersey at the time. I drive trucks for a living, so I'm almost never home in the first place. So we decided that we would rent a plane, fly from Long Island up to Connecticut, have lunch, and fly back. The whole time this was going on, I thought he was going to fly there, we would have lunch, and he would fly back. I did not think I was going to be the one to fly the plane.

I get to the airport and wait for him, as he was finishing up a flight lesson with another student. Once he was done with that, we went into the instructor room to have a look at the route we were going to fly along with the weather along our route. He told me the weather would be fine, we wouldn't have any issues. The METAR and TAF seemed to confirm this. So we walked out to the plane, a Cessna 172S. He told me I'd be flying left seat. We proceeded to do the pre-flight inspection, then got in the plane, ran the checklists, and started the plane up. Once we were ready to taxi, he contacted the ground controller for taxi instructions. As soon as we got our taxi clearance, the next thing out of his mouth was "Okay, you have control." Oh, $&@%. I did NOT see that one coming.

So I taxiied the plane out to the runway, and let me just say I taxi like a drunken monkey. Oddly enough, I could keep the plane on the runway centerline as I was taking off. That said, I was a little concerned about having a tail strike since I'd never flown a Cessna 172 before, even in the simulator (I jumped straight into the Boeing 747-400), so I was a little cautious on the rotation. As soon as we got airborne, the plane was bouncing all over the place, and the next thing I knew, the plane was rolling to the left. Why was the plane rolling to the left. Was it supposed to be doing that. I had very real concerns that I was about to stall and crash this thing in the middle of Long Island, and I actually almost gave up flying altogether. Once we got over the Long Island Sound, the turbulence had died down, and I was fine. I never landed. Once we got over land, the winds had picked up, so he decided to take over and land instead. As for the departure, we took off from runway 14, then we were supposed to turn left and head north. I must have forgotten that part somehow.

On the return flight, I pretty much did everything on my own, down to the taxi and take-off clearance with ATC. The second take-off went better, but by that point, I knew what to expect. It was pretty windy as we made our way back over land, so I didn't land this time around, either.

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3 hours ago, Captain Kevin said:

Flew my first actual flight a little over a year ago, and I actually didn't even see it coming. I was meeting up with a buddy of mine from school, who I hadn't seen in  a while since he lives in Brooklyn, and I was living in New Jersey at the time. I drive trucks for a living, so I'm almost never home in the first place. So we decided that we would rent a plane, fly from Long Island up to Connecticut, have lunch, and fly back. The whole time this was going on, I thought he was going to fly there, we would have lunch, and he would fly back. I did not think I was going to be the one to fly the plane.

I get to the airport and wait for him, as he was finishing up a flight lesson with another student. Once he was done with that, we went into the instructor room to have a look at the route we were going to fly along with the weather along our route. He told me the weather would be fine, we wouldn't have any issues. The METAR and TAF seemed to confirm this. So we walked out to the plane, a Cessna 172S. He told me I'd be flying left seat. We proceeded to do the pre-flight inspection, then got in the plane, ran the checklists, and started the plane up. Once we were ready to taxi, he contacted the ground controller for taxi instructions. As soon as we got our taxi clearance, the next thing out of his mouth was "Okay, you have control." Oh, $&@%. I did NOT see that one coming.

So I taxiied the plane out to the runway, and let me just say I taxi like a drunken monkey. Oddly enough, I could keep the plane on the runway centerline as I was taking off. That said, I was a little concerned about having a tail strike since I'd never flown a Cessna 172 before, even in the simulator (I jumped straight into the Boeing 747-400), so I was a little cautious on the rotation. As soon as we got airborne, the plane was bouncing all over the place, and the next thing I knew, the plane was rolling to the left. Why was the plane rolling to the left. Was it supposed to be doing that. I had very real concerns that I was about to stall and crash this thing in the middle of Long Island, and I actually almost gave up flying altogether. Once we got over the Long Island Sound, the turbulence had died down, and I was fine. I never landed. Once we got over land, the winds had picked up, so he decided to take over and land instead. As for the departure, we took off from runway 14, then we were supposed to turn left and head north. I must have forgotten that part somehow.

On the return flight, I pretty much did everything on my own, down to the taxi and take-off clearance with ATC. The second take-off went better, but by that point, I knew what to expect. It was pretty windy as we made our way back over land, so I didn't land this time around, either.

Back in the days of FS98 i got frustrated one afternoon after a short flight out of meigs field cause my seat at home was not moving i was not feeling anything at all , i jumped on my car went to the local airport (KBDR)  with my own little savings and paid the intro flight ,,, and that was the start of the must fun thing i had ever done in my life (flight a plane ) .......

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Captain Kevin said:

. As soon as we got airborne, the plane was bouncing all over the place, and the next thing I knew, the plane was rolling to the left. Why was the plane rolling to the left. Was it supposed to be doing that. I had very real concerns that I was about to stall and crash this thing in the middle of Long Island, and I actually almost gave up flying altogether.

2

Wow, that is a little bit like how I was after we were in the air.   We were climbing at around 75-80 knots, and beginning a left turn that the instructor told me to execute.   It was not that windy, but I was a bit unnerved by the effect it had on the plane.  I started to think I was in over my head a little, and told the instructor that I might have to bail and have him take over.  He calmly talked me through it, and I steadied my nerves and continued the rest of the way.  But, for a moment, the gravity of the situation almost threw me!

Edited by Ecosse_821

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Kevin, you just described the background fear I talked about before.  Nothing in any flight simulator can duplicate that.  It's there in the background of every takeoff and landing.  What might go wrong?  You have a heightened sense of alert.  It goes up a couple degrees during crosswind landings and turbulence and when you see bad weather ahead of you that you weren't prepared for.  I call it the zest of flying.  Without it or the anticipation of it, flying would become quite boring.

I imagine skydivers have it when they expect the chute deploy in a couple of seconds and racecar drivers have it when they enter a turn inches away from another car.  

I got that pang in the pit of my stomach on my first multi engine takeoff roll in a Piper Aztec with my instructor when he stopped cocked the right engine.  I knew immediately what he had done and pulled all throttles back and taxied off the runway.  Put that immediate pang of fear was still there.

Noel

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I’m quite envious as you’ve done something I’ve always wanted to try and that’s fly out of the real KCMI.

That was the base for the Commodore 64 cassette version of sub logic’s flight simulator II, and I spent hours and hours of my school holidays doing circuits and ILS work there as a lad.

Do you use or know of any good scenery for the airfield? I hope one day Orbx will pay the same tribute to KCMI as they have with Meigs.

Sometimes when the winds are right I sometimes fly pretty close to KCMI in my real world jet on the way back to the U.K. from the west coast or vegas, and I’ll always tune in the CMI VOR for nostalgia , but it’s usually dusk or too dark so can’t see anything. So for me in my minds eye KCMI will always be runways and taxiways made up of white lines on a green background flicking past at about 5FPS.

Cheers

Jon

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2 hours ago, jon b said:

I’m quite envious as you’ve done something I’ve always wanted to try and that’s fly out of the real KCMI.

That was the base for the Commodore 64 cassette version of sub logic’s flight simulator II, and I spent hours and hours of my school holidays doing circuits and ILS work there as a lad.

Do you use or know of any good scenery for the airfield? I hope one day Orbx will pay the same tribute to KCMI as they have with Meigs.

Sometimes when the winds are right I sometimes fly pretty close to KCMI in my real world jet on the way back to the U.K. from the west coast or vegas, and I’ll always tune in the CMI VOR for nostalgia , but it’s usually dusk or too dark so can’t see anything. So for me in my minds eye KCMI will always be runways and taxiways made up of white lines on a green background flicking past at about 5FPS.

Cheers

Jon

I'm not aware of any scenery for KCMI.  I do have ORBX FTX Global which helps a little.   I was actually surprised at how the similar the real CMI looked to the FSX version!  I wasn't looking at details, mind you, just watching that Embraer on 14L and trying to get ready to turn to final and start deploying flaps!

Ah yes, what became FSX/P3D was born here at the UofI as a lesson by the name of "Airfight" on the PLATO system at the CERL lab.   Bruce Artwick's project. 

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5 hours ago, Ecosse_821 said:

I started to think I was in over my head a little, and told the instructor that I might have to bail and have him take over.  He calmly talked me through it, and I steadied my nerves and continued the rest of the way.  But, for a moment, the gravity of the situation almost threw me!

I didn't even bother saying anything to my friend. I just kept pushing through it. I almost wanted to, but I figured I'd try to see what would happen once I leveled off, and I also figured if he had any concerns about something happening, he would have just taken over.

4 hours ago, birdguy said:

Kevin, you just described the background fear I talked about before.  Nothing in any flight simulator can duplicate that.

Yeah, that's what I've always said. I've been flying in the simulator since 1998, but nothing in the simulator could prepare me for what was about to happen.

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I've gotten to fly C172s a few times as the (now) ex-wife came from a family of pilots (dad and brothers) - one thing flight simulator didn't prepare me for is this:  Due to the torque of the propeller, turns in one direction were easy, the other direction, took more effort.   Didn't see that one coming.

Mark

 

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