Friday, January 27, 2006
An unusual day in the air
Today started like most days out at the airport. I got there a good 7 minutes late or so, got an airplane, froze my ass off doing the preflight and got ready to takeoff. I’m in the CFI course at 9:00am, so I’m in the Cessna 152 2 seater airplane that we use for private pilot and the flight team competition. These days I’m flying from the right seat so I can learn to fly it when a student screws up. We started to take off like normal and everything seemed normal, but just as we were in the air the airspeed indicator dropped to 30 knots (which is below the stall speed) and me and my flight instructor were staring at it with jaws wide open. There was no stall warning horn, and the airplane was totally not stalling. Far from it actually, I had lowered the nose to get airspeed and we were cruising around at like, 100 feet. So we’re all like “K, we gotta land I guess” so we raised the flaps, turned crosswind and then downwind. By this time, the airspeed is reading 0, and the altimeter was about 700 feet low. My instructor offered to land the plane, but I was all like “no, I got it”. The airspeed moved a little bit up from 0 as I was descending for landing, but it never got to the real airspeed so I had to ignore it. First time I ever had to land with no helpful instruments. Since we didn’t know our airspeed, we came in for landing a little faster than usual to prevent a stall but it was a pretty uneventful landing other than that.
Later in the day, I flew the Piper Seminole twin engine for the first time. Holy Crap what a difference two engines make! I actually felt pushed back in my seat. The airplane climbed to 5,000 feet before I could realize it. It was more work but a heck of a lot more fun than the 152. The Cutlass 172RG is good, but not as good as this. If we fly to Dallas, we are totally taking the Seminole. I have to get around 100 hours of multi-engine time before I can apply to an airline, so I will probably be offering rides at some times in the next two years.