Learning to Fly – Your First Flight (Part 3 of 4)



the introductory flight will provide what no video or brochure on flying can the opportunity to take control of the airplane and break free from the confines of the ground finding a location for an introductory flight is as easy as using a general internet search engine for the most part you should be able to show up for your introductory flight with nothing more than an eagerness to enjoy an exhilarating experience but check with your scheduler to be sure there are no surprises flight schools will various to their look and feel but you can be sure you'll have an instructor who shares your passion and enthusiasm and they're committed to providing you with a memorable flight the type of aircraft you'll fly will also vary but their operation will all be the same you'll likely be flying in a 2 or 4 seat single-engine airplane powered with an engine similar to your car these engines undergo regular maintenance and inspection the airplane uses the power produced by its engine to spin the propeller which pulls the airplane forward the engine power is controlled by the throttle which is generally in the form of a knob that moves in and out at the same time the propeller is thrusting the airplane forward air is being accelerated over the top of the wings this airflow is primarily responsible for the airplane being able to stay aloft once airborne we rely on three primary flight controls there are aliens that control the airplanes rolling motion controlled by the left or right motion of the wheel or yoke the yoke can also move forward and backward which controls the aircraft's elevator the elevator is responsible for the pitch up or down of the airplane the airplanes rudder is controlled by foot pedals either left or right which will your the airplane in that same direction a quick glance the flight instruments can appear to be a collection of round instruments or a digital display of meaningless information it will make a lot more sense if we identify our six basic instruments the airspeed indicator shows you just that your speed the attitude indicator shows the airplanes position relative to the horizon the altimeter provides the aircraft's altitude above sea level the turn coordinator shows the rate at which the airplane is turning the heading indicator provides our direction and finally the vertical speed indicator shows the rate of climb or descent you'll find these same basic flight instruments either in an analog or digital format in every airplane you'll fly the airplanes we fly are inspected prior to every flight to ensure that it's systems are all functioning properly your instructor will show you the time-honored walk-around inspection before your flight another time-honored tradition is the use of checklists the use of checklists ensures that no important steps are overlooked once we've started the airplane driving the airplane on the ground is called taxiing you steer with your feet on the pedals not the control wheel push the left pedal to turn left and the right pedal to turn right with our pre takeoff checks complete we're ready for takeoff takeoff is that magical time when we transition from the ground to a flying machine we increase the throttle a slight coaxing with a control wheel when we reach our target speed will allow the airplane to break free of the ground the acceleration will be brisk and the sensation of transitioning into the air will be unforgettable you'll continue climbing until reaching a safe altitude if you feel an occasional bump it's normal the airplane will fly just as well in a few bumps as it would imperfectly smooth air you can think of these bumps just like small waves you'd encounter in a boat harmless making the airplane climb descend and turn involves an interaction between your hands and feet a control wheel or stick works much like a steering wheel you turn it to the side in which you want it to turn push on the rudder pedal that's on the side in which you want you'll also use the control wheel to climb and descend hold back gently on the wheel to climb and push forward to descend once headed back to the airport there will be a standard flight path to landing during the landing we're basically doing the opposite of what we did on takeoff we'll be reducing the power and dissipating our flying energy so that the airplane will settle back to the pavement when back at the parking area you'll go through some basic steps for securing the airplane this is also a great time to reflect on the experience also ask any questions that may be on your mind and most importantly be thinking about when you can be back for that next flight lesson we have some tips to help with that next step in the following segment

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