Monday, October 11, 2010

Flying High

Did you ever think about what it would be like to fly an airplane?  I enjoy flying when I go on trips because it takes me to where I am going faster than it would to drive or take a train or bus.  My husband is taking flying lessons, and he took my son on one of his lessons.  My son then wanted to try flying himself.

Harv's Air is a flight school in Manitoba that offers a Discovery Flight for people 14 years and over.  My son (almost 15) went on this discovery flight and it was a perfect sunny day.  The plane was a small white, two-seater, model C-152.  The instructor's name was Mike and he started off by doing a walk-around to check the plane to ensure safety.  My son and Mike got into the plane, and Mike taxied it to the runway.  As the plane was gaining speed and getting ready for take off, he told my son to "pitch back now" which was pulling back on the control column.  He said to do it slowly.  As my son did that, the plane took off up into the sky.  My son felt excited with the feeling of flying.  Mike turned the plane in the direction they were going, and my son kept the plane going straight forward by holding the control column.  As my son looked out the window, he saw houses, fields, farms, the river down below. Mike pointed out the altimeter, the air speed and attitude indicator (nose up, nose down). My son enjoyed the view, and he said they had to wear headsets so that he could hear the instructor as the plane was very loud.  When they arrived at the practice area, Mike told my son to bank left, bank right and pitch the nose up and down.  My son really enjoyed banking and climbing at the same time.

One of the highlights of the flight was to do a spin (the spin is not usually part of the Discovery Flight - this was by special request).  A spin is when the instructor puts the nose up really high causing the plane to stall, then one of the wings tip and you start descending, or falling towards the ground, spinning in a circle.  The plane then straightens up then eases out of the dive.  My son felt the g-forces mostly when he pulled out of the dive.  People who ride rollercoasters would be familiar with this sensation.  He thought it was really cool to be staring down at the ground from the front window and he enjoyed the sensations of the g-force.  This entire spin didn't last very long (maybe 5 seconds?). 

On the way back to the airport, Mike took the controls.  He landed the plane. It was a smooth landing. The entire flight took about 20 minutes. 

I asked my son if he wants to learn how to fly and he said there is so much to learn.  He was satisfied with this experience for now. 

It's important to follow your dreams and experience new things.  It adds a little excitement to your life.

Have a great day!

~ Angela Gentile

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