Now blogging from San Diego, CA!
The flight to San Diego was good. It was 2:30 long and it felt like it was only 1:00 long. As we approached KSAN, the marine layer was covering SoCal and we got vectors for the ILS runway 09. I saw the coast as we broke under the clouds and we touched down at a pretty cloudy and cold San Diego. I sat at the end of the plane and I was the last one to go through customs. The CBP officers were cool and they stamped my entry without asking me much.
A friend picked me up at the airport and we got to the flight school. I met the administration personnel there and they are really nice. I was fascinated and I still am by the aviation atmosphere here at Montgomery Field. You get to hear and see tons of planes. There are rows and rows of Cessnas, Pipers, Beechcrafts... you can even hear and watch the F-18s and V-22s practicing at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
After giving the necessary information and copies to the school, my friend and I went to Casa Machado to eat. It's a real good restaurant and it has a view to the general aviation platform. We went to Marv Golden Pilot Supplies store and it's just incredible to see so many books, charts, supplies and stuff for pilots. It really is a candy store for me.
We drove back to the school and after saying bye to my friend, I got the keys and bed stuff for my room where I'm staying now. It's a nice condo with swimming pool. I share this appartment with an indian guy who is also studying at National Air. He's a mess as a roommate and a pilot, but I don't care.
Yesterday, I went to the school and began to watch the Jeppesen Instrument/Commercial DVD. It's a good refresher of the stuff I already know. When I walked home, I stoped by at Marv to buy the stuff I need. Flight bag, Los Angeles Terminal Chart, plotter (I didn't have one), Private Pilot SEL PTS, FAR/AIM, VFR Navlogs, etc.
I began to read the FAR/AIM in the night before going to sleep.
Today, I went to the school to continue watching my DVD. I finished watching the second of three DVDs and as I was reading/studying the FAR/AIM, the flight instructor came out and asked me if I wanted to go flying today. I wasn't expecting to fly today, but sure! Why not?
I wanted to fly in the 172 because the chief flight instructor recommended me to fly with the Skyhawk first to get accustomed with the communications and airspace. We found out the 172 was grounded because they are certifying its GPS. It's strange an airplane has to be grounded for a GPS certification. We agreed to fly to the northwest at 4500ft. We then decided to fly in the Piper Warrior. It was going to be my first flight in a Piper Aircraft and I already had read the information manual, so it wasn't going to be a thorough transition to the Warrior. The flight instructor showed me how to preflight check the Warrior and then he showed me how to use everything in the cockpit.
The Warrior is very simple to use and it's very comfortable. I ran through the checklists, engine start and we taxied to the nearest taxiway. I reported my position and received taxi instructions to runway 28L. After runup, we took off and climbed to 4500ft. When we got to the training area, he instructed me to do some slow flying. The Warrior is very easy to control. The constrols are solid and the throttle movement is excellent. You can establish a flying configuration very quick and precisely. I practiced a power off stall, power on stall and some steep turns. We turned back to Montgomery Field and descended to keep clear of the Bravo airspace. As we approached MYF, I contacted the tower and asked for touch and goes. I received instructions to join left downwind of runway 28L and abeam the runway, the tower instructed me to follow a Cessna Citation and touch and go on runway 28R.
I reduced the power and extended 10 degrees of flaps. I then joined crosswind and turned to final. The Warrior glides perfectly with full flaps. When I crossed the threshold, I started my flare and touched down. It was a pretty good touchdown for my first landing in a Warrior. I applied full power and rotated. After 1 more touch and go, I made my final landing. As I taxied out of the runway, I was told to cross runway 28L and contact ground. After completing the after landing checklist, I requested taxi to National Air and taxied to the overnight position at the school. After shuting down and securing the airplane, we got out of the plane and I filled the logbook entry. After covering the plane, I walked to the office and asked the instructor for a debrief. There was nothing significant he had tell me. Just to maintain the nose down until reaching the flare height. In general, he was satisfied with my flying. After making the entry in my logbook, we completed the paperwork and went out from the school. He gave me a ride to my appartment and said goodbye.
I'll have my first groundschool lesson tomorrow with him at 13:00.
I now completed writing this post after hearing my roommate's experiences in gambling and casinos. He's obviously not the kind of person that will become a professional/airline pilot.
It's good to be flying again!