Night Flight.

One of the tough things about being a student pilot is that while you’re busy learning how to fly and land the airplane, you don’t have a lot of opportunity to take photos. I always take a few moments to enjoy the view, after all, that’s why I’m up there learning how to fly, but because flight time is expensive and I’m eager to learn, I don’t find myself taking a lot of photos.

Enter my GoPro camera. I found the perfect spot to mount the camera in the Piper Cherokee 140 but unfortunately I didn’t turn the camera on correctly this evening, so I am unable to share my first flight lesson at night. Luckily another student rode in the backseat tonight and she snapped a bunch of photos so I’ll share them in a future blog entry.

I’ve flown at night on the airlines but I never had the opportunity to fly at night with my dad. His homebuilt AcroSport II wasn’t flown at night and I don’t remember the J5-A having the electrical system necessary for night flight. So my lesson this evening was something new for my flying career and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

After doing some turns and the like in the practice area, and wrapping my head around the “always trust your instruments” concept, we headed back to the field for night landing practice. By the third landing I started feeling comfortable; on the seventh landing I found that I prefer the runway lighting to be on “dim”. None of my landings were unsafe, but I had two great, a very good and four good landings. Not bad for the first night flight and I’m comfortable with my progress as I move into my 13th hour of training. Tonight was the first flight where I felt like I was really feeling the airplane, and it was an awesome feeling.

Flying is awesome.

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