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."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Milestone

According to the statistics published by the AOPA, there are only about 600,000 pilots in the United States. This means that pilots make up about 0.2% of the population.

On Tuesday, I felt like I truly joined them as made my first solo flight.

As flights go, it wasn’t anything terribly special. Three touch and goes in the pattern with my instructor to make sure I was having a good day, with the third landing being a full stop. We taxied back to the flight school, my instructor got out, grabbed his hand-held radio and signed my logbook, then I fired up the DA-40 again.

This, of course, was the point when I found out that the fuel injector system in the DA-40 doesn’t like being shut down and hot-started within fifteen minutes. I’ve grown accustomed to an engine that reliably holds its RPMs as soon as it starts, but not this time. This time it started with a bunch of 50 RMP swings, which made me a bit nervous. But the roughness went away at flight RPMs with a slight leaning of the mixture, so I figured take it to the run-up area and if it was cleared up by then, I wouldn’t worry.

I calmly dialed in the ground control frequency, and pushed the transmit button. And was immediately rewarded with a squealing bit of feedback while I tried to talk to the controller. Time to switch to the handheld mic that I’ve never used before.

Honestly, after that, things seemed to go pretty easily. The Diamond climbed a bit faster with just me on board, and while my landings weren’t great, they weren’t bad either.

I made three touch and go’s, then brought her back to the flight school. In the same number of pieces I left with.