Dennis my instructor texted me yesterday that there was a confirmed commercial flight today with the Seneca and to be at the airport by 2pm. He also said I have to get a real pilot shirt and black pants, to look professional. So, I went yesterday to Banyan Pilot Shop and picked up the smallest shirt – and it is still big on me – ironed it today and put it on, felt like a real pilot.
I went to the airport at I and asked my friend to help me walk the aircraft. He showed me how to check the oil, where to sump the fuel, and what to look for. Than we went for a quick lunch and I was back at the plane at 2pm.
When the Dennis showed up I was already climbing in the N55223 and started my checklist. I only flew this plane once before and it is a complex airplane with two engines there are a lot of things to pay attention. He shared with me that we will fly to Lantana (Palm Beach County Park Airport) KLNA, pick up our customer than fly him to Naples and back home to KFXE. He filled the AC with ice and we were already moving.
I taxied to run-up area and there were some problems with the right engine left mags but we decided to take the flight anyway. I took off of RW13 and headed out NW. As soon I was at 1500ft I put on my foggles and flew to Lantana, landed the airplane. I did feel strongly that I have not flown this aircraft for a long time but practice was great. Taxied to the FBO and waited to the customer. By the time we took off from here, all of our (portable) AC ice was melted.
I flew the next leg from the right seat. The big mistake I made was that I closed the door but never locked it. As soon as we took off Dennis realized so we had to turn back and land taxi back and take off again. Now I know. You must close and lock the door. The good part was that I did the communication for both take offs and called for flight following. I am less nervous to talk in the radio and more confident about what to say and respond. This is good. He even said at one point today – can’t remember when – that I did well.
This flight was weird because I almost never sit at the right seat. My airplane kept migrating to the right and I constantly had to keep an eye of the clouds and an other one on the attitude coordinator. At this leg Dennis landed and we helped our passenger out of the airplane.
We taxied to the self-serve gas station and I had my first time airplane gas top off. It was kinda fun. Feels good to know that the tanks are full. For sure.
At the next leg from KAPF (Naples) to KFXE we had little bit of weather. For a little while we had to navigate around the clouds and we climbed up to 12,000ft. I again put on my foggles and had to navigate with my attitude coordinator, altimeter, airspeed indicator and vertical speed indicator. I really don’t know what happened to the clouds at this point. Than he set up the ILS and I had to fly it. I felt like my first time in an airplane. Haha. It was really hard to follow the needles because it was so counter intuitive, however I truly enjoyed this brilliant equipment. At short final I was finally allowed to take off the foggles, did a pretty bad landing and taxied back to the tie-down area.
What did I learn today?
1. Doors must be locked.
2. New instrument I was introduced today is the ILS or INSTRUMENT LANDING SYSTEM. It is a precision approach navigational aid which provides highly accurate course, glide slope, and distance to runway. Put the ILS frequency on your radio and follow it until landing. It is the safest approach.
3. Should fly more…