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My First Day of Flying...in a Pitts!!!! :: Archived
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Posts: 703
Location: Illinois
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:00 am
Post subject: My First Day of Flying...in a Pitts!!!!

So today was the big day!

My college had an open house for the two subcontracting airports, Terre Haute International and Sky King Airport.

I got done with my first class, and quickly headed Sky King. The weather was poor, a ceiling of 1700' MSL, but this was my first flight in small single engine aircraft. A flight instructor led me around the airport. Sky King had a family quality to it. Everyone knew each other and cracked jokes. The atmosphere seemed comfortable.

Anyway, we settled into a Cessna 172. I was excited. We taxied for a minute, did the runup, and took off. Man, that was exciting. I was finally waiting for this moment after so many years. It was a 1/2 hour flight where the instructor let me try out the plane and controls. We ventured right next to the cloud ceiling. I was so pumped. We performed a touch and go flew over the city. We landed and I thought I had the experience of a lifetime. It was nothing like an airliner. I was sold on Sky King.

I came back to the rest of my classes with a fire in my belly. I told my fellow classes about the great time I had, and they were impressed. But I still had to see Terre Haute International.

I went with my friends about 5PM. We got there and noticed the difference between the casual Sky King and the professionalism of Terre Haute. We were asked if we wanted to eat first, or go on ahead and just fly. Knowing my stomach and its weaknesses, I opted to fly first. But wait!!! Says the chief flight instructor. We had to enter the drawing for a ride in an S-2C Pitts!! And what do you know! The first name was me!!

OMG! This is my first day of flying. I have half an hour of logtime. I might blow chunks!! The pilot said I'll be fine and their was a sick bag onboard. So I strap on the parachute, just in case, which only made me more nervous. I get strapped into the front seat, almost pissing my pants. I was freaking out. He closes the bubble canopy, and away we go. The takeoff was smooth. I'm like "OK, maybe he'll be gentle!" but after passing a hundred knots he floors the throttle and goes straight up!

I have never been on a decent roller coaster. I've been on a kiddie one when I was little. But I imagine this was the extreme. After he tops out of the arc, he pitches downwards into a dive. Talk about free fall feeling. I was literally almost floating in the seat.

He banks ninety degrees...HARD! I feel the G's. I remember what your supposed to do and the tips the guys on the ground gave me. Squeeze!!!

I feel the blood leaving my head but I'm able to squeeze it out fine, using the proper techniques. He asks me any special maneuver I'd like. I was scared but had no choice. I said, "Do the Barrel Roll!!"

"A barrel roll or an aileron roll?"

I knew the difference and said barrel. I wanted the one G feeling while looking upside down at farmland. And it was a perfect barrel roll. I could have drank or poured cereal in that roll. I will never be afraid of flying or stunts ever again. I was instantly in a comfort zone.

"Ok," I say "Do your thing!"

"Alright, make sure you squeeze your abs on this one"

He pulls hard up. I feel the G's, and before you know, we are going straight up, and then over! A nicely done loop. Beautiful! No butterflies! Great feeling.

Ok, then he does a cuban eight. More G's. Hammerheads!!! Immelmans!! 4 point rolls, 8 point rolls! Dropouts! Literally, the plane was vertically going up, then the Pitts was falling straight up. A sinking feeling. Then the nose drops abruptly straight to the ground!! Awesome!!!

And everytime he does the maneauvers the stall warning goes off. We weren't stalling, but at the max angle of attack before stalling! So, there were some serious G's in that plane. It was rated at 6 positive G's, and felt really heavy, but only for brief periods of time. This was the ride of my life.

It felt liberating, and I broke into flying really quickly. And my stomach held up perfectly, the whole time.

We landed, a bad landing the pilot admitted. Three bounces.

I unstrapped myself, and took off the forgotten parachute, climbed out and let out a roar!

My flight instructor said that was awesome for me, and invited me for a Cessna 172 free ride. Adrenaline pumping I made the bad decision and said yes.

You see, with all the adrenaline in my blood, I couldn't feel my stomach, until after the takeoff in the Cessna 172. I was starting to feel nauseated. I say, John, I'm not feeling too good. He lets off a laugh. You gonna puke in a 172, and not in a Pitts. It was ironic, but really my stomach just caught up to my senses. I held the sick bag, ready for the purge, but I held my own. We landed, opened the windows and I recovered.

I think the adrenaline made me sick. I went straight from a Pitts to a Cessna, and when it caught up, it was like hitting a wall. I went into the pilot lounge area and the chief flight instructor said I looked pale. I felt drunk. The Pitts pilot was there and I thanked him for this unforgettable flight.

Great day. I ended up signing with Terre Haute International. I fly three times a week, starting probably Monday. I love it. So much. What a day.

"Well, I gotta go...Yeh I'm running out of change"

Last edited by RAF92_Moser on Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Power User

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Joined: Jan 05, 2005
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Location: Odessa, Texas
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:27 am
Post subject: Re: My First Day of Flying...in a Pitts!!!!

Fly safe and have FUN


You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3
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Location: 3rd Branch up, 'Ye Olde Oak', Green Wood.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:26 am
Post subject: Re: My First Day of Flying...in a Pitts!!!!

I always feel sick, just playing sim's.

Skwerl's place.

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Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:32 am
Post subject: Re: My First Day of Flying...in a Pitts!!!!

LOL Moser! Good story and don't forget to get some pics... Smile
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