By lex, on August 23rd, 2011
To learn, really learn a new aircraft is to form a relationship not unlike an arranged marriage. As soon as you find out who your partner to be, the real work begins.
At first, there is great joy at the happy prospects to come. Then comes a time for introspection, followed by efforts towards understanding the other. In time, things that seemed enigmatic become things revealed. There are always eccentricities of one or another characteristic of the future partner that must be studied by itself – they engine, say, or the electrical system. As your preparation continues, the interlocking pieces come to form a more comprehensible whole. Each new thing mastered casts knowledgeable light on previous facets that had to be at first taken at face value. All the while knowing that face-to-face interaction is required to really get some sense of what is to come, that only so much can be learned from the book, that there will always be hidden secrets and new revelations.
Like any relationship, true knowledge of the other takes time and effort. And given the nature of the relationship between a pilot and his ship, the more of each, the better the prospects for a happy future.
So we’ve spent the last weeks getting to know the systems. Yesterday we had a cockpit fam, with the instructor on the ladder watching. Today we started the aircraft using the checklist, taxied her out to the runway for engine run-ups followed by a high speed taxi test and aborted take-off. Tomorrow we push her a little further.
Flights start early next month, out west.
There’s still a lot to learn. But I think this is going to be fun.