First Ground School (5 May, 2009)

5th of May, 2009 was my first Ground School. I’d had the Ground Kit for a week and a half or so, but the contents where still bewildering to me (especially the E6B illustrated below, but we’ll come to that in a later post.)

E6B flight computer

E6B flight computer

So first Ground School lesson, Theory of Flight. This is to be the first of 15 lessons in the Ground School course lasting 7 and a half weeks, taking place every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 6:30.

I’m on the course with I believe 11 other students from varying backgrounds. Among the backgrounds we have;

  • someone from Kuwait who is aiming to be a commercial airline pilot
  • a lawyer who deals with aviation and wants to learn to fly
  • an career army who got a lot of practice within the military but hasn’t got his civilian exams or time
  • a self-made businessman who is planning on buying his own plane to make it easier to get to business meetings
  • call centre supervisor, originally from Croatia
  • physics student
  • and others

Over the weeks I will get to know some of them very well, by and large a good bunch of people.

Our instructor for this course is an engineer from Pratt and Whitney, who teaches part-time at the school in both theory and practical flight training. I figure and engineer from a large aircraft engine manufacturer should have a fairly good grasp on the theory of flight. Of course this is correct.

So all into the general theories of flight. What causes lift, the effects of pressure, the results of different angles of the wing, some mathematics on lift generation and critical angles. A lot of other stuff in there as well for the first lesson, G forces, weight, stalling, drag, stability and others. Since this isn’t a teach you to fly blog, and if I start going into the theory here I’ll probably lose most of you in one posting, I’ll leave it at that. I will say though that the 3 hours of the lesson went by quickly and squeezed a lot in, but the clarity of the information was never compromised.

However needless to say, if you’re serious on learning to fly you need to know this stuff, and it’s never boring. In flying everything you learn will matter some day, so you can never learn too much about this stuff.


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