Submitted by Erin Nolan
At 0700hrs we departed the house for the airfield and I was a little sleepy from my travels but I was so excited because I was planning to have my first flight with Patricia. We got started right away the weather was good and it is still cool in the morning hours. Patricia went through a thorough preflight and I am hoping to be more comfortable in the aircraft on the second flight.
Patricia is both a confident and talented instructor. She is very detailed, articulate and very professional. I was so comfortable taking instruction from her and really felt I learned a lot in such a short lesson. Short meaning, there is no traffic delays, ATC delays or long checklists to follow. It is all business from start up to shut down. I may have been flying for some time now but this is her aircraft and her environment. Believe me it shows!
I learned that this type of low inertia aircraft requires a little different flying technique and I need to get more aggressive on the controls, my slow and small helicopter inputs are just not enough for these types of aircraft. I need to break my muscle memory and FLY the AIRPLANE! I was already looking forward to my next lesson with Patricia.
As the flight operations continued Jonathan put over a brief “code 9” over the aircraft and all of a sudden I saw Patricia and all the girls spring into action. Code 9 indicated an emergency so they grabbed a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and we all jumped in the van. Patricia drove down to the end of the runway and we found all occupants were OK and that it was only a drill. I was impressed by their quick response. We discussed the drill later on and the girls were wondering why he didn’t repeat the call when asked over the radio. The reason was to demonstrate that the pilot may not only have the time and/or the ability to get out more than one distress call over the radio and it is imperative they remain diligent while on radio monitoring duty. Well done by everyone and I am thrilled to see positive and recurrent training in action.
Even after a long exciting day the crew is cleaning up, putting the aircraft to bed, and meticulously putting everything away for the next 10 days that we spent on our exciting journey around Ghana.