Sunday, June 2, 2013

First Flight in South Africa

After all the studying and preparations that I have done over the past 6 months, today was the day for my first flight in South Africa!

This was a training/familiarization flight in my new chariot for the next 2 weeks, which you can see below:
This is a 1975 Cessna 182.  While it is very well maintained and perfectly "fit for purpose" for my mission, the cockpit was a bit frightening to me, which you can see below:
A little bit different than my familiar Cirrus glass cockpit... But I was eager to broaden my flying skills and Nick gave me a great briefing on the plane.

The flight itself had two objectives.  First, I wanted to get some practice with the local procedures, radios, etc. Second, and more importantly I wanted to practice flying ZS-IWP today before my validation checkride tomorrow.

Shortly after I got airborne, I quickly realized that this was an extremely easy airplane to fly.  The controls and responses were all very predictable.  In addition, the local procedures were not that daunting.  After doing a bunch of basic air work, stalls, steep turns and various things to prove to the instructor that I knew what I was doing, it was time to do a few landings.

However, the part that was not predictable was the weather.  The skies were clear.  But the winds were a direct 15 Knot crosswind to the only available runway @ Lanseria!

As a result, my first couple of landings were "less than graceful".  Luckily I had a patient instructor and 10,000 FT of runway to play with.

After the 4th "touch and go", I felt comfortable After the 5th, my instructor was satisfied that I was ready.

Hopefully, I got some video along the way and it will make for some new Youtube videos soon.

Tomorrow is the checkride and if all goes well, I hope to walk away with a "South African validation/endorsement" on my license.

Stay tuned for the next leg of this journey...

Cheers,
== T.J.==

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