What were my first two weeks in flight school like?
Well to sum it up, flight training with LTF up until now has been a rewarding and challenging experience. I’m honoured to be the first student to fly the new Sling 2 training aircraft. I flew the Sling 2 on my second training flight with LTF and I can only say she is a solid, obedient and beautiful aircraft to fly.
What did I do in my first flying lesson?
I remember very vividly my first flying lesson with Chief Flying Instructor Jordan Rogers, it was effects of controls and straight and level in the Bristell NG5, as the Sling wasn’t in operation yet. Jordan’s passion for aviation and making the most fun out of a flying lesson is absolutely admirable, he took me down along Mornington and the Mornington Peninsula, scud running at 500 feet above sea level at more than 100 knots as a “welcome ceremony” type of thing. Although it was bumpy and cloudy, the view from up above was awe-inspiring.
“You have to be up really high to know how small you really are” – Felix Baumgartner
Aviation provides the perspective the human race needs to prevail, that our issues on a large scale are really, really insignificant.
Eventually, the instructor hands more and more control of the aircraft over to you, the student, as your ultimate goal is to fly as a pilot in command. Right now I am up to flying circuits and landings on the Sling 2, and the instructor basically sits back and watches as I do all the procedures, which is what he/she will eventually do. However, at the end of the day, the pilot in command is still your instructor sitting in the right seat.
What are the LTF instructors like?
Some people have the false perception that a flying lesson includes some shouting and screaming from that grumpy old man sitting next to you (aka. the instructor), however, this is just so far from reality.
I have had the privilege of flying with the Chief Flying Instructor, and although on paper his seniority is of the highest authority, flight lessons with him are something rather fun. Despite his seniority and experience, he still holds that naïve, childish admiration of aviation, evident from his use of his phone to take pictures while in the air. I can promise you; sometimes you simply can’t wipe that smile off of his face when you are playing among the clouds in your humble little single-engine piston aircraft.
That being said, the instructors you will be flying with here at LTF will expect high standards of you as a student pilot, after all, you are at LTF to learn and improve your flying skills. It’s just that you learn in an environment that will not over-stress you.
What’s the LTF community like?
The LTF community and school atmosphere is nothing short of awesome! No other word to describe it, the school is more like an extended family where we can talk about anything! Even about topics that aren’t aviation-related. On the ground, everyone, including the Chief Flying Instructor, is good mates who share experiences and thoughts with each other openly and freely. Instructors and classmates are always happy and willing to help anyone in need, and of course, we share that same passion for aircraft and aviation.
When will I go solo?
Currently, the first solo is just around the corner as we are refining circuits and circuit emergencies such as flapless and glide approaches, the instructor will slowly let everything go and everything will be under your total control. The rule is, if the instructor is quiet (or if he ends up doing a little dance after you totally aced that flapless approach), you’re close to solo.
Solo flights are conducted out of Tooradin for now, a small private airfield to the southern boundary of the Moorabbin training area with one real operational runway. Until LTF receives the solo exemption, all solos will be conducted out of Tooradin.
So that’s it for now, stay tuned for the next update!