I started wth the Cessna 172. These planes are the go to standard for anyone wanting to learn to fly. I've found 180hp is about as small as I want to go.
After a few hours of the Cessna I tried a Piper Archer II. It's a PA-28-180 low wing plane that also makes a great trainer and has very nice flying characteristics that made it my plane of choice to learn in.
I like the simple dash of the Piper. It's easy to read the dark gauges against the lighter background and I find it has more room for us "larger" sized pilots.
I've wanted to fly all my life. Seems time, money, and necessity never really lined up for me. Coming from a military family made the dream even stronger as my Dad was a pilot. He's taken me flying several times and I've flown with friends over the years. Now nearing retirement I've decided the Remote Controlled Airplanes & Skydiving aren't enough, I want to fly. So I enrolled into a Flight Training school and am on my way to get my Private License.
I'm really looking forward to the day the wife and I can jump the plane and head out to Vegas, San Diego, or other states to play or visit family.
Small aircraft are exactly that, small. This Piper was built in the late 70's so is over 40 years old. This is common in the industry and I'm very thankful for the annuals, inspections, and maintenance performed.
I'm just now hitting 20hrs of training with 75 landings under my belt. I'm feeling pretty comfortable with the plane and looking forward to learning more navigation in preparation for future trips with the wife.
I flew out to the East a bit to catch a glimpse of the Miami-Globe open pit mining. I'm also checking out fun trials for possible Jeep explorations later.
This is Kolton, one of my flight instructors. The first solo is pattern work. You fly the pattern and do 3 landings with full stop & taxi backs.
My 1st solo was on my birthday, April 13th, a fitting present. On my last downwind ATC notified me to "watch for traffic". I found them at my 3-O'clock coming right at me! I had to climb to avoid collision, Kolton was more nervous than I apparently. :-)
Later I was cleared to solo in the NE Practice area near Falcon Field. I was so excited to finally perform every task by myself. This area consists of Fountain Hills to Saguaro Lake and Red Mountain to Horseshoe Dam. it's about a 100 sq mile area.
Now I'm really getting the bug and wanting my Private Pilot's License!
I flew up to the Northern limits of the NE Practice area and checked out Horseshoe Dam, it was beautiful
My final Solo will be cross country. I must fly and land at 3 airports 50 nautical miles apart minimum. Just waiting for the weather to cooperate. Now in the late afternoon summer days the winds have been too high. :-(