Lesson 2: Basic Maneuvers, Touch and Go’s

Aircraft: C172 N52654

Flight  Time: .8 hours

Total Hours: 1.6

I felt much more comfortable and even a little confident during and after my second lesson. My previous instructor, Mark, was out sick, so I had my lesson with Jake, who is one of the younger pilotts. Jake and I struck up a good rapport and moved quickly and efficiently through the the preflight checklist before moving the aircraft from the hangar and filling up the tanks.

I did most of the taxiing as we proceeded to the runway, and Jake assisted me with the takeoff. It felt good, after all, taking off is pretty easy; you just point the plane down the centerline, add full throttle and wait for the plane to pick up enough speed and leap into the air by itself. Jake communicated with the tower as we turned and headed towards the narrow strip of allowable airspace that lies between Elemendorf Air Force Base and Ted Stevens International Airport. As we crossed over the Knik Arm, we looked down and right at a large cargo plane taking off from the runway at Elmendorf. A good visible lesson in the concept of ‘traffic.’

When we reached the practice area, Jake had me practice the basic maneuvers of flying: straight and level flight, turns, climbs and descents. The idea was not just to get me to learn how the steer the plane, but also to get an idea of what each maneuver looks like from the cockpit, i.e., visual flight- where the horizon is in relationship to the engine cowling when you fly straight, perform a climb or turn. It’s alot like driving a car, you look out out the windshield at the road and the world around you, except that a car doesn’t bank when it turns. I performed each maneuver with confidence and Jake told me that I was well within tolerance for a private pilot- not bad for my second lesson! 

We did two touch and go’s before landing, touching the wheels down and then immediately pushing the throttle to full power and climbing back to about 900′ and coming back around for our next approach. We basically turned right and followed 15th Ave, then turned right above Gambell St., and then right again to line up with the runway, sighting the end of runway lights to make sure that we were coming in at an acceptable approach. 

After landing, I taxied back to the hanger and secured the plane. Jake positively commented on my performance and remarked that I had obviously been studying and doing my homework. I felt great about the lesson and and look forward to reading in preparation for my next lesson.

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One Response to Lesson 2: Basic Maneuvers, Touch and Go’s

  1. Tracy Holcombe says:

    Congratulations Dan! Flying sounds like lots of fun and it sounds like you are good at it. Way to go for it!

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