Flight Lesson #2: Attitudes and Movements (continued)
Monday, June 8, 2009

I went for my second flight lesson this afternoon.

It was another warm day at Boundary Bay Airport, 18°C, with high clouds, winds at 5-10 knots (9-18 km/h) from 130 (South Southeast). So, they were using Runway 12 today.

 A Little Aviation Trivia Airport runways are numbered based on their magnetic bearing on the compass rounded to the nearest 10°. This is also based on the direction you're landing or taking off from the runway. At Boundary Bay, Runway 12 sits at 125° if you're flying out Southeast over the water, Runway 07 sits at 71° if you're taking off to the Northeast. Those same strips of pavement have different numbers if you're landing or taking off in the opposite direction. Basically, 180° different. So, Runway 12's opposite is Runway 30 (305°) and Runway 07's opposite is Runway 25 (251°) At Vancouver International Airport for example, the North Runway is 26R/08L the South Runway is 26L/08R. The runways are parallel to each other and are situated at 261° from north and 81° from north. So, if you're landing west over the city, you'll likely land on either runway 26L (left) or 26R (right) if you're landing east over the water, you'll likely land on either 08L (left) or 08R (right). It's left or right from the pilot's perspective.

Since i just learned how to calculate weight and balance in ground school, Josh (my flight instructor) had me do all that while he checked the fuel in the plane. Shortly after that, I was outside on the apron doing my pre-flight checks.

Again, Josh did most of the radio work so I could concentrate on flying the plane. I found it a lot easier to taxi today. Since there was a lot of traffic and I am still a bit slow lining it up on the runway, I didn't take off the plane today.

Once in the air, we headed over Cloverdale to the Coquitlam/Pitt Meadows area and practiced turns, climbs and descents. He also had me do some turns while climbing to 3500 feet then doing an opposite turn descending to 2500. So far the toughest part is doing a turn and maintaining altitude. When you turn, the plane will start to lose altitude, so you have to pull back at the same time to keep the same altitude.

After 45 minutes of that we headed back towards CZBB (the ICAO code for Boundary Bay Airport). We flew over highway 99 following it back until we were just north of Runway 12. Again, after a large bank to the left, I landed on Runway 12. Apparently quite well again. I also know this because so far I haven't accidentally set off the Emergency Locator Transmitter which sometimes will go off if you land too hard. (It's set to automatically activate after sensing a certain amount of load factor or Gs)

I'm going to try to get several more lessons in before CFL season starts as I will be on the road a lot more and it will be tough to get all those lessons in. I have to do it while the weather is still nice. The fall will bring crap rain and low clouds making it more difficult to get flying in.