quarta-feira, 17 de junho de 2009


First of all, a small introduction is due here. I am a brazilian learning to fly. My native language then is Portuguese, and I ask beforehand for your kind patience for eventual mistakes and phrases weirdly constructed. Also, don't expect technical fidelity here, there is a lot of poetic license and some statements "just for fun". By the way, that's the main purpose of this blog, have fun and be most welcome!


And it finally happened!! After several weeks fighting bureaucracy I was finally able to go airborne commanding the fantastic (!?) AMT 600 Guri, machine built in the brazilian south region, by Aeromot Company.

There is a picture of Guri in the post before this one.

Afterward I will post the initial process step-by-step for those 1st time unawares like myself. But for now I will describe my 1st flight. And it was amazing!!

It all started on Friday, June 5th, 2009. I scheduled the flight to 11:00 in the morning, with clear skies, and a high pressure zone in the Jacarepaguá Airport area.

I got there right on time - beginners are like that, all anxiety. I was then allocated to the adequate instructor and we began the proceedings of airplane introduction and presentation. Very interesting procedure, one must even caress the plane. Well, we are better off treating kindly the one that is supposed to bring us back to ground safely anyway.

We started by checking the aircraft's exterior. Every control surface's screw must be verified. Ailerons, rudder and elevators. We checked the landing gear condition, external instruments, engine area, air intake unobstructed, and even evaluated fuel quality in each tank. Very thorough work and also extremely interesting. I felt we were reducing greatly the risks involved.

I then entered the airplane and then I began running through several check-lists until starting the engine. This was a funny moment. It never started!! That even reminded me of my old Chevette alcohol-fueled! And then I pumped the power lever several times, tried even more, but to no avail. I'll be dammed!!! It only started when the instructor began tampering with the mixture control, then it went on and stayed on.

After a quick contact with the tower, made by the instructor, we began taxiing to the take-off hold position. Here another comment is valid. Has anyone here ever commanded a war tank? Must be quite similar! You change the plane's direction by braking one of the wheels. The front wheel is free and without any control. As a result the plane moved like a snake on the runway. In a straight line, never. It could be my fault, though, who knows?? :)

'Tower, here is Papa Tango Juliette Sierra Mike requesting permission for take-off, runway 02' - said the instructor to the tower. And I there thought: 'Ih, I might end up taking this thing off!!!'. I received then the instructor's tips, the traffic about to land passed in front os us and there I went. The instructor told me: 'Money, health and runway are never too much. taxi to the very beginning of the runway.'. I did so, and aligned with the runway. Heart pumping a tad harder, I must confess... Then the instructor told me:'What are you waiting for?? Give he full power and let's fly!!' - Hahahah!! Yesssss, sir! He needed not say it twice. I pushed the power lever to maximum and next second was bouncing on the runway. To control the direction of the plane was somewhat uncomfortable (ok, a piece of Sh%$#% actually). When she was running faster I relieved the front wheel pressure a bit by pulling the stick one inch, and at 70 knots I heard the familiar statement - "Rotate" - I pulled gently the stick... felt the chair pressing my back and up we went. Amazing!! I was flying!!

In this moment I thought about my wife and in all support she gave me in this new enterprise, that would mean for her only anxiety and worries. Without an amazing woman a man is nothing, really. I just hope someday I will be able to take her on nice trips so she enjoys it too.

Then arrived a character that would stay in our minds for the entirety of the flight. The Vulture! Not satisfied being Flamengo's symbol, the stinking bird also represents a great aviation risk.

And of course, according to the 134th statement of Murphy's Law, there was a great bunch of the nasty creatures right ahead of us. Lacking a .50 on my Guri's nose to disperse the band, I settled for a right detour. We made it to 2000 feet and I leveled the plane. Here I had one more attention test. Where are we in relation to the runway, asked me the thoroughy instructor. To which I quickly answer: 'North Northeast." We then turned towards the sea. Here, new query. 'We are South' - I immediately replied. Having quenched his thirst for directional details, I felt a satisfied atmosphere emanating from the good instructor, who then decided: 'Let's go to Ipanema?' - asked him. 'Of course!'- Answers the happy newbie. The sky was glorious, but bumpy, and the plane rattled and bounced. Nothing enough to diminish my happiness, of course.

Following he asked permission to the tower, who assigned a transponder code to us - 2007 in this case, and we headed East to Arpoador. Here I will make a small digression, my thousands of readers will probably forgive me. During all communications with the control tower so far I could only perceive an elevated professionalism level, cordiality and good humor. I offer this newbie's congratulations to the team that keep watch for us from below. I felt all time protected and well kept by their nice attention.

Returning to Barra da Tijuca, I aligned the plane with the runway, following the instructor's tips and began descending with power set to minimum, flaps fully down. While keeping 70 knots I was smoothly bringing the Guri to land when briskly interrupted by two vultures (always them!!!) that flew just in front of the plane. The instructor quickly made a hard turn left and down dodging the disgusting animals. When re-estabilized the plane had passed by almost half of the runway. After a quick warning not to make that kind of descent he pointed the nose down and managed to land the plane using little runway, and with some space to spare. We were on the ground.

On that moment I could notice that piloting is tiring. Legs numb, left shoulder a bit hurt too, I taxied as I could to the hangar and we finished the flight.

I was going to fly again next Sunday, but gave up due to bad weather. Who knows this week Saint Peter and working schedule allow? To the skies... and Beyond !!!

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