Today I had my lesson! Finally after a month I flew again.
The school is AvStar Aviation, based at KPIE. I had some good referrals for them and I have to say that the first impact was positive. One of the first thing for me is punctuality. I arrived at 9,30 with the flight scheduled for 10,00. My instructor was not there so I went in the parking lot to wait for him… when at 10,05 I still didn’t see anyone that resembled the picture I had in my mind of an instructor so (starting to complain in my mind for he delay!) I went up to the office and I found Sherri, my instructor waiting for me, I have seen her arrive around 9,35 but I didn’t figured that my new instructor was a beautiful woman!!! :)
This can say a lot about the “prejudice” we have, or the fact that (I don’t know why) there are few women flying airplanes and so we figure out a man when we think about a pilot.
We went on with the paperwork, we did some ground so I was able to understand the airport and the airspace around KPIE. Is a kind of complex airspace ’cause is right below the Tampa class B airspace, so the flight level mus be under 1200 feet for a while and in case of a west departure as we did, can become 3000 feet always below the TPA B airspace. So it worth a little study on the map. We went through all the lesson and we were ready to fly.
The plane was a new Cessna 182T with the Garmin 1000 avionic. In the ground school we talked a little about the G1000 and I was ready to fly with it. The 182 is really much heavier than the 172 and the feeling is of a lot of more stability and performances. The plane has a constant speed propeller so I had to learn a little about how to manage the power and the rpms with the prop pitch adjustments. I will do more next time.
We went through some basics, some steep turns (the nose is heavy and really wants to go down) and 3 landings where the nose again is really heavy. I will get used to that. 1.7 hours on flight, 3 landings and I went out of the plane (starving!) at 15,00.
After all a very good experience. The manager seems to be a very nice person too. I have a good feeling for the instructor ’cause she made me feel very comfortable on the plane also if this was my first experience with a Cessna 182. Also I was really surprised in a positive way to have a woman instructor, I like that ’cause I usually don’t have at all a “macho” attitude and that makes me feel more comfortable with women when I have to learn something new or challenge myself; usually women don’t expect that you are a superhero ready to jump from a plane from 20000 feet, they are more realistic and respectful of the “little steps” and research of comfort that I usually need. I have seen this many other times for other challenges I had in my life.
I didn’t do a video and I have to figure out how to do the video without invading the privacy of my instructor or I will not post further videos. I’m a professional photographer and so for me the privacy of the people is a priority, and in this case she requested some privacy and I’m going to respect it.
Friday I will go to fly a Piper PA28-140 so I can see if that feels better than he Cessna 182T or not and decide what I will fly for the training.
I really like to have the option to try different type of planes and see what I like more. For now I have to say I really liked the 182! :) …but trying a low wing can be a surprise…
All for today will do pictures and more description at the next flight!