On Tuesday evening I checked the schedule and saw the Plane that I have been trying to rent is out of maintenance. So I get excited like a fat kid that is about to eat a cup cake. I show up and Mark is ready to go. We hopped onto DUATS and got a weather briefing. We got a briefing to fly out to Groton Airport (GON). After that we went out and preflighted the plane. This was a relatively simple process to do considering there is a check list to follow. Basically we just made sure everything in the plane was working properly and that there was no water in the fuel.
Once we got done preflighting, we got in the plane and started to head out to the taxiway. Once we get to the Hold line, Mark hops on the radio and announces our intentions to the Air Traffic Controller. We get cleared to take Taxiway Delta followed by Taxiway Alpha, Crossing over Runway 29 Â to Runway 2. When we get down to the run up area, I run through the next batch of check lists. We are ready to go, Great. I approach the final hold line and Mark gets permission to take off. I ask him when does he want me to take over. He tells me right now, I am taking off. This I was not expecting, as He took off last time. I end up giving it some throttle and onto the runway. Wow this seems bigger than it did last time. Mark says FULL THROTTLE and down the runway we went. Mark only had to tell me right rudder two or three times. Once we hit 70 mph I pulled back on the yoke and off we went. I proceeded to increase altitude just as we had discussed over the last several sessions.
Mark quickly points me over to the Connecticut river and tells me to follow it all the way to the Long Island sound. In the mean time as I am following the river we go over leveling off, setting cruise speed, and setting the trim, or Pitch Power Trim as Mark constantly told me. While going down the river Mark had me do some 360 degree turns at 20/30 degrees of bank. This was not nearly as bad as it was in the Cessna. The Piper felt a lot smoother to control. When we get close to the ocean Mark pointed out a relatively large tower that we needed to avoid. Okay, We kept to the right of it by 5 miles or so. Once I got onto the Ocean Mark had me fly over towards Groton.
Mark gets on the radio and does his magic and we get cleared for a touch and go onto runway 5. Mark tells me “You have to learn how to land the plane sometime, so here you go”. As we come down I have the yoke and throttle gripped so tight that I could of turned them into diamonds. Mark tells me to relax a bit and I get over the fear of hitting the pylons in the water. All I hear is less power less power less power, your doing good, keep it there and we’re down full throttle full throttle and rotate. ATC immediately hops on the radio and asks if we want to do it again. Mark passes on the opportunity and tells him we are going home. Once we get to altitude of 2700′ Mark looks over at me and asks what I thought of groton, did I even see the airport. I laughed and said I just saw the runway.
On the way back we did a couple more 360 degree turns and I followed Route 2 back to Hartford. This really wasn’t eventful which was good. We quickly enter Hartfords airspace and get an approval to perform a straight in landing. This landing I knew was going to be exciting as Mark and reminded me that only I had the brakes on the Piper. As we came down Mark guided me down and did a great job of it. I quickly felt the main gear touch down and I get on the brakes and kept it relatively straight. We get over to the tie down area and finish up everything.
Once inside Mark proceeds to debrief me on everything we did. I told him that the sensory overload I felt last time, was not nearly as bad this time. I also felt far more comfortable in the piper than the cessna.
|# of Take Offs||2||3|
|# of Landings||2||3|
|Total Flight Time||1.3 Hours||2.4 Hours|