Hey! Things Look a Little Different from the RIGHT SEAT! :)
September 17, 2004
As we walked out to the plane, he asked me if I'd like to learn the maneuvers from the right seat (since I would have to do them that way for my CFI training, later on). I said, 'Sure, why not?". He told me that if I liked it we could continue to do it that way in the rest of the training, but that it was up to me. I, of course, asked him what I could expect would be different from the right side - other than the obvious things he mentioned (controls being in 'new' positions, for example), he said that landing from the right side would feel 'different' at first. Mainly because of the different sight picture out the window.
He also told me that taxiing might feel a little odd for a quick few moments. Taxiing wasn't much of an issue since I knew all I had to do was put the yellow line between my legs and I'd be where I wanted to be. The only tendency that I had to 'slap' myself now and then for, was (since I drive my car using my right hand) also starting to turn the yoke in a turn - though my rudder feet did what they knew how to do.
Takeoff was relatively uneventful and the maneuvers seemed to go quite well (of course, from the perspective that it was my initial lesson and that I was in the right seat). I swear, ya almost feel like you are 'cheating' to be having this much fun and be earning a certificate for it. <g>
The typical training path is really ideal. I've determined (at least, for myself) that the Commercial training is a reward for having slogged through the instrument rating with it's only visual component consisting of getting needles to agree. I think the Instrument Rating (besides making one a more precise pilot) makes one appreciate the 'glory' of the Commercial training even more.
After moments of training 'bliss' (interspersed with lots of 'requests' on my part,,, "Can we do that some more!"), it was time to head back to Reid-Hillview. I got the ATIS and thought that I had 'misheard' winds at 18 knots - I thought maybe the recording had likely said 8 knots,,,, turned to my instructor (sitting on the left side - I was taking a special joy in sitting on the right side <grin>) asked him if the ATIS had said 18 knots and he nodded his head. It was 10 degrees off runway heading and kept slowly shifting from being a crosswind to being straight down the runway.
Of course, I'm thinking, what a thing to be going on with me in the right seat for the first time. The crosswind didn't concern me, I've landed in some pretty interesting crosswinds without event,,, it was more that I would be doing it from the right side.
Well, the visual picture IS slightly different from the right side (especially the flaring cues - which my instructor had told me to be ready for in-advance) and I touched down with a passable landing (to say it was a thing of beauty would have been much more than just a bold-faced lie <grin>) and we got clearance to taxi back to my FBO.
Overall I was most pleased by my performance from the right seat. My instructor seemed pleasantly pleased as well and asked me if I'd like to continue from the right seat or go back to the left. I chose the right seat (I s'pose it sounds a little corny, but it was just SO cool being in that right seat, even though I'm obviously not a CFI, yet) I suppose I had really expected being in the right seat to be more of an issue that it turned out to be. I'm not saying that it wasn't an adjustment (because it certainly is),, just saying that it wasn't as hard an adjustment as I had imagined it would be.
I have a lot to learn, ahead of me. Don't know how to put this in words but there is such a joy to the challenges that learning something new in aviation presents to oneself. I REALLY like it and have been enjoying my ongoing training more than you could imagine. I guess I'm weird <grin>,,, I'm looking forward to begin studying this weekend the areas of study that will be in my Commercial Written and studying the in-flight footage of the various Commercial maneuvers (a King video). When I eagerly tore open the box from King Schools and joyously took out the Commercial training course, my wife looked at me (with a big smile) and said "Well, here we go, again....." :-)
What a joy, what a challenge and what an adventure!!!! I am seriously 'jazzed'!!!! :-)
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