THE CALIFORNIA FLIGHT SCHOOL OF SACRAMENTO
Every good pilot conducts a “pre-flight” of his aircraft before they start the engine with any expectation of leaving the ground. The preflight inspection is intended to insure that the airframe and landing gear is undamaged, all intake and static ports are clear of obstruction and that the fuel is the correct grade for the aircraft and free of any contaminants. So, shouldn’t you do the same kind of inspection before selecting a flight school?
It’s tempting to just jump in the airplane, or enroll in an expensive ground school prematurely. But, be patient. There is a lot you need to know about our industry, the training process and professional aviation before you can make a well informed decision. Flight training is expensive, and very risky business. According to a recent survey conducted by General Aviation News, and the Aircraft Owners & Pilot Association (AOPA), 80% of all student pilots never complete training. Don’t be one of them. Before you consider a career in aviation, or flight training for any reason, plan to attend our PreFlight Training Program, “Introduction To Professional Aviation And The Modern Flight Training Industry”. You will be glad you did. This is four hours that will change your life.
“We are safely on the other side of the pond. The job is finished.”
— Lieutenant Commander Albert Read, radio transmission after first transatlantic air crossing, 27 May 1919.
It will be a beautiful day as your plane gently lifts off the runway for your solo flight. Expect to be a little nervous as you trim the airplane for the best rate of climb. At 400 feet AGL (above the ground) you turn crosswind and continue to climb. As you reach the downwind turn you are more relaxed, and you prepare for he longest leg of the ride. At pattern altitude you level off and reduce power. It’s easy. You have done this many times before in the PreFlight Studio simulators. As you complete the downwind leg the tower controller has cleared your approach, and you begin your descent while making the first of several wing flap settings in preparation for landing. Turning 90 degrees to the base leg, you continue to reduce power while adding flaps. As the runway appears just off your wing, you turn to the final approach course. You’re now at 500 feet AGL and approximately one-half mile from the runway. Your left hand rests lightly on the flight controls. Right hand gently on the throttle. You are completely relaxed. You remind yourself that you are not along for the ride, and that you are not an extension of the airplane. It is an extension of you. In perfect trim, and entirely under your control. You check the air speed. Exactly 60 knots. With full flap extension you cross the runway threshold and reduce engine power to idle. As you gently apply back pressure on the flight controls, and the airplane’s elevator engages, the nose of the airplane eases up slightly and you feel the wheels softly touch down. Main gear first, then the nose wheel on the center line of the runway. Your ground speed is approximately 40 knots as you retract the flaps, and with full back pressure on your controls you brake slowly on the rudder pedals to a full stop. It took less than 10 minutes. Your instructor is waiting on the side of the runway. He is very proud, and the tower controller congratulates you. You’re one of us, now.
There is less than 1 million pilots in a world population of nearly 8 Billion. You have just done something that very few people are willing to attempt, and there is a sense of pride that will last a lifetime. You will walk with that “solo swagger” for awhile, but there is more work to do. And, when the FAA Designated Pilot Examiner endorses your first check ride you have earned the right to call yourself a Pilot for the rest of your life.
LET’S GET STARTED
From the left seat:
“I am proud to call myself a Pilot, and I am proud to associate with others who do as well. If you are considering a career in the aviation industry you should know more about the California Flight School of Sacramento. Inside our PrefFlight Aviation Training Center & Flight Simulation Studio you will learn the crucial planning, leadership and communications skills critical to air worthiness and flight safety. You will learn how to properly manage crisis and adversity. And, you will responsibly evaluate your performance and the performance of others in a professional environment. Finally, you will acquire a unique self-respect as you develop new skills that many believe to be beyond their reach. . . . Let’s fly!!”
Bob Peterson California Flight School of Sacramento PreFlight Aviation Academy & Flight Simulation Studio
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