Taking Up My First Eagle
By Trevor Janz, EAA 656941
EAA Manager of Chapters and Eagle Flights
October 2, 2012 - As the manager of Eagle Flights, it was about time I took my first Eagle up for a ride last Thursday. I had postponed the flight many times due to wind and weather. I wanted to make sure that her flight was as perfect as it could be.
Alisa is 35 years old and has always had an interest in learning how to fly. She is truly an aviation enthusiast. In living near Oshkosh, she is able to attend AirVenture each year to fuel her passion for everything aviation.
Everything came together perfectly. The weather was CAVU with light winds, right down Runway 09. With the temp just below 60 degrees, it would be a nice, smooth evening flight with the sun setting and casting that amazing glow on the terrain below.
Alisa was so excited, I was receiving e-mails from her all day long asking if the winds were okay and sharing how she was looking forward to the flight. Her enthusiasm before the flight was amazing, I was wondering how she would be during the flight.
I pulled the RV-6A out of the hangar before she arrived. When seeing the RV, the first thing she said was, "That is such a cute plane, I love it." Must agree - it is cute and fast. First things first, we filled out the Eagle Flights Registration Form. As I did the preflight she had so many questions. Her enthusiasm was contagious. How often do we do a preflight alone without having to explain why we are doing what we are doing? I actually had to think and answer why we check the propeller for nicks, etc.
As we taxied out to Runway 09, there were more questions, proving that Alisa truly wants to learn how to fly. While doing the run-up I discussed why and how it was done. She was fully engaged to say the least.
As we became airborne she immediately commented on how empty the AirVenture grounds were and how cool it was to see it from the air. We climbed eastward over Lake Winnebago to the eastern shoreline, following it up to High Cliff State Park to view the beautiful fall colors. This was a good area to practice some turns with Alisa. I showed her what the trim was all about, and how when removing your hands from the controls, the plane will not fall out of the sky. I gave a brief demonstration of a standard rate turn and she caught on immediately. I had her fly us around the north shore of the lake as we headed back to Wittman field.
As we lined up on final approach, knowing she wanted to learn as much as possible, I made her aware of flap extension, throttle settings, and getting the plane ready to land. After landing, we were taxiing back to the hangar, and Alisa still had a lot of questions. She will make an excellent student and pilot. I invited her to join our chapter, and hope to see her at the next meeting.
I cannot wait to do another Eagle Flight. She thanked me, and I thanked her. I left the airport so invigorated! Thank you, Alisa.