JULY 29, 2015- Three days after returning from AirVenture, I decided to go for my introductory flight lesson. I chose to attend the New Garden Flight Connection out of New Garden Airport (N57) in Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania. NGFC is a really relaxing and welcoming flight school that operates two Cessna 150s (a 1967 and a 1975 model), one 1976 Cessna 172, a Cessna 120 taildragger, as well as a brand new Pipesterel Alpha Light Sport. Check them out at http://newgardenflightconnection.com/
Anyways, my instructor Jimmy Reagan, an MEI that is a senior at Kent State University during the winter months chose to fly on July 29, 2015 in the 1975 Cessna 150M, affectionately known as The Gem and also known its' registration number, N63524.
Anyhow, the morning of July 29 was a rainy, stormy mess. The rain showed no sign of stopping! My father was telling me that they won't let me fly. But, being my optimistic self, I said that it is going to stop raining. So we drove for an hour in the pouring rain to get to the airport. Once I entered my flight school, the clouds started moving out of the area and the rain diminished! My instructor was as happy as can be and thanked me for showing up!
After a preflight inspection, Jimmy and I boarded the small C150 and ran through a before-start checklist. Once that checklist was complete, we went to our engine start checklist. BEACON ON- MIXTURE RICH- CARB HEAT IN- PRIME AS REQUIRED- MASTER ON- CLEAR PROP- KEY IN IGNITION- CRANK- VROOM! The small Continental engine roared to life. After a short brake test, we began taxiing to Runway 24 for a departure to the west. We ran the engine up and taxied to the hold short line. We dealt with an annoying gyrocopter with a stuck mike, made our call, and took off! As straightforward as that.
At about 600 feet AGL, Jimmy handed the controls over to me and I performed my first climb up to 4,000 feet. The controls on the C150 were extremely light and the winds were calm, giving Jimmy the impression that I was a "sharp stick and a steady rudder," We got to our practice area and Jimmy gave me the opportunity to play around with the airplane in any way I wanted. I started doing my basic maneuvers such as steep turns, extremely high ground references, and following roads. During one steep turn, I actually flew through my own wake! Woo Yeah!
Before I knew it, it was time to go back to the airport. I started complaining that I wanted more like I usually always do now. Jimmy let me descend to 1,500 feet (TPA) and he took it from there. We flew the regular pattern into a touch-and-go. We landed, and took off in one cycle. We flew another pattern and Jimmy wanted to let me land the plane. I gave it a shot and made the final really clean. Once I crossed the threshold, I touched the wheels down and used a little amount of the runway.
I started the sad taxi-back to the parking ramp to find a standing ovation. My parents and the flight school owner came to greet me as I parked the plane and disembarked. All in all, I got hooked! I went to the office and scheduled my next lesson for that upcoming Saturday.
Photo credits to my uncle!
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