Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Flightstar II check ride

While accompanying my wife on her business trip to Atlanta, I decided to lookup a Phantom-type aircraft trainer. I found one in Cartersville, Georgia, about 40 miles north of where I was staying in Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia. Ben Methvin was the owner/instructor of the beautiful blue and yellow Flightstar II SC. It was powered by a Rotax 582 bluehead, "E" gearbox and a 3-blade Powerfin prop.

After the proper preflight and insuring that all paperwork was in order, we started up the plane and taxied out for take-off. Ben allowed me to take-off without any corrections required. It was a very hot day and we just about at maximum gross weight, so the takeoff was long, and the climb-out was somewhat slow. Ben had a Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI) installed and it was registering about 500 feet per minute, which I suppose is where it should be considering the flight conditions.

We flew away from the airport to a suitable training location and Ben demonstrated power-on and power-off stalls so I knew what they would feel like. After that I did S-turns over a road, which were a bit steep for Ben's liking, but still accurate and adequate. We practiced a short-field approach for landing, which I killed badly by being way too high. Ben took over and slipped us in over the field and allowed me to feel the flare, the we turned around and I took back off in the direction from which we came.

We headed back to the airport, where we flew 3 or 4 landing patterns, with me landing on at least two of them. One landing was a bit hard, but I didn't break anything. The other landing was better, but still needed improvement. Ben told me that I flew very well and that if my Phantom flies like it should, I shouldn't have any problem transitioning from my Quicksilver. We taxied back to the hangar and chatted for a bit, before I went back to Buckhead.

Thanks again Ben, you were very laid-back and it was fun to fly with you. Visit Ben's web site here: Atlanta Ultralights Web Site


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