Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flight Lessons 2 and 3

Flight training report this week. I missed doing an update for my second lesson, wherein the most significant thing was experimenting with slow flight. We just barely got the flight in under cloud cover that would start snowing later in the week, but it’s time logged, and right now I’m still of the opinion that any flying day is a good day.

I finally got to try out my new flight bag too. I’d been using a backpack I’d gotten as a freebie at a game developer’s event a couple of years ago, but for my birthday, my Lovely and Gracious Wife got me a dedicated flight bag from Sporty’s. She even got my initials monogrammed on the bag! I’m really blessed to have a mate who supports my crazy plans and dreams.

Tuesday was another flying day. Lesson number three, and my introduction to stalls and instrument flying. It was a really bumpy afternoon, and of course, I would be under the hood (a vision restricting device that blocks your view outside the airplane) during the worst of it, just fighting to keep the airplane straight and level. In some ways, though, it’s easier than trying to do the same thing in a simulator, since your tactile senses help tell you the airplane is moving. Not that I can entirely trust them. I’ve “enjoyed” some lovely vertigo sensations while playing simulators, when I knew my butt was nailed to the floor, and could tell my inner ear to shut up, I know better than to trust my sense of balance when the airplane really could be banking left.

Stalls in the DA40 are interesting too. It’s a very well behaved trainer, and after the stall warning horn starts, the next thing you get is a mild buffeting on the stick, then buffeting of the entire aircraft, before the nose finally drops at around forty-five knots. Basically the aircraft gives you plenty of “Don’t do that”, “No, really, don’t do that”, “Seriously, if you keep it up, stuff is going to happen!” feedback beforehand. It also seems to glide quite nicely at seventy-eight knots, as demonstrated when my instructor decided to give me my first taste of emergency procedures with a brief bout of “engine trouble”.

Assuming the weather holds out as good, I’ll go up again tomorrow morning (Saturday). Apparently I’ll try landing for the first time *twitch*.

For those with wings, fly to your dreams.