On Sunday the 23rd of August, I headed up to my local airfield where I had the opportunity to hop in a light aircraft and go for an experience flight. The flying club hosted an “open weekend” where everyone could pay a bit of money and go for a 20 minute flight. I’ve been wanting to do such an experience flight for quite a while now and I’m delighted that I completed one.
Just a little before 1200Z, I walked with a pilot/instructor to HB-KMF, a Tecnam P2008 JC which belongs to the MFGF (Motor Flying Club Fricktal). The instructor showed me the flight surfaces and explained to me how they function. We then hoped in the aircraft and put on our masks. He then briefed me on the flight and asked where I’d like to fly. As I live not too far away, I thought It’d be cool to fly over my house. He went through the start-up procedure with me and fired up the engine. He asked for a radio check and afterwards we taxied to runway 25 at LSZI. After a very short taxi, we held short of the runway and the instructor began the run-up procedure. A couple of checks later, we entered the runway and he pushed the throttle all the forward. We quickly accelerated down the 500 meter long grass strip and at roughly 60 knots, the instructor pulled back on the stick and we slowly lifted into the air. We gained altitude and after roughly 20 seconds of being in the air, the instructor asked me if I’d like to fly. Of course I couldn’t refuse and I grabbed a hold of the stick and took control of the aircraft. I turned north and tried my best to maintain an altitude of 3,000ft. I flew a large turn over my house and headed east. Afterwards the instructor asked me if I’d like to snap a few photos, so we quickly turned back and the instructor took control whilst I whipped out my camera and took a few photos.
It was very windy and there was a lot of thermal activity in the area which made for a very bumpy flight. Despite the weather, the instructor told me that I was doing a fantastic job flying and said that I was talented despite me having never flown an aircraft before.
After another turn over my house, we headed east and the instructor asked me I’d like to continue heading east along the Rhine river or head back to the airfield and do a touch and go. I opted for the touch and go as I thought that way more fun. I flew back to the airfield as the instructor pointed out the visual references he and other pilots use to navigate their way around. Within no time it was time to start preparing for the approach. “Seat belts. Fastened. Approach checklist completed”. The worlds shortest approach checklist was completed and we started to slow down as there was a PA-28 (HB-POF) in front of us. Flaps were put into the landing position and I turned onto the runway heading and started to descend down to the runway. A minute before we touched down, the instructor took control and gently landed the aircraft on the grass before pushing the throttle forward and raising the flaps to the takeoff position. Again, we raced down the grass strip and slowly began to lift off. I took control of the aircraft and followed the traffic in front of us. This time we were remaining in the pattern. Once again I was told to climb and maintain 3,000ft but I was told to turn south and make left traffic. It was extremely fun following the aircraft in front whilst being pushed around by the wind gusts. On left downwind we did the approach checklist which was swiftly over and I turned base and eventually onto final. This time I flew the entire approach down to just seconds before landing. I never thought that I’d get to do so much during an experience flight. The instructor gently brought the aircraft down again and we vacated the runway to the left. He told me to put my feet on the rudder pedals and let me have a go at taxiing the aircraft which was difficult at first but I got the hang of it. We parked up and shut the aircraft down. The flight which felt like at least an hour ended up being just 24 minutes long. At the end, the instructor and I hoped out the aircraft where @Chris_Wing was waiting to take a picture of us. He was helping out, taking pictures, on that weekend.
What an experience! Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to do this. Hopefully I’ll get another chance to fly but for now I’ll just stick to the C172 in Infinite Flight.
Thank you for viewing my pictures! I shall now go and uncramp my fingers from all of that typing. Have a wonderful day!