This is what it's all about.. This section is just to share some of the experiences I've had since I started flying my Falco. It's hard to explain the feelings.. there are so many of them but what I can say is that it is all worthwhile.
The first flight. If I said that there was no trepidation before the first flight I'd be lying but I think the best thing to do is try to think of every eventuality and have it covered. Make sure everything is ready and PLAN !
The day was great and everything was planned. The plane had been thoroughly checked and was ready. I was well rested and was ready. Today was going to be 'The Day'.
First I planned on doing taxi tests prior to the first flight but on the same day. This was to give me time to settle in.
The first run was for brake conditioning then I shut it down and checked it out.
The next series of runs were gradual increases of speed to ensure controllability and and get a feel for it in a high speed state ready for the next runs.
Continuing on I then carried out aileron control checks. These were a bit different to how I thought they would go in that the response was easily controlled at the max recommended speeds but the results were symmetrical so that was pleasing.
Then came the elevator test. I was concerned about this since I'd read about people getting prematurely airbourne and I definitely didn't want to do that. I reality, it went just as it should. I think where people go wrong is that they don't use full power. With the lack of slipstream the elevator need airspeed to become effective which also makes the wing fly. If full power, and hence slipstream, is used then the elevator can prove its effectiveness before the wing can fly.
After this I shut the plane down, got out and prepared to fly. I rang ATC and organised for clearance to climb above the airfield to 4000'. They obliged with a transponder code. Just as I was heading for the plane, Troy, a very good friend of mine showed up. I was pleased he could make it. He got given the job of videoing the event. Thanks Mate !!
I jumped in, strapped the Falco to my backside and fired it up. The taxi out , run-up and pre take-off checks went as per my checklist so I headed for the active. After a P2000 landed I called "Ardmore Traffic, Sierra Mike Romeo lines up two three seal and will be climbing above the airfield to four thousand feet, First flight" and promptly lined up. Looking down the runway a whole heap of excuses went through my head but I countered with "That's all crap, everything is ready, it's now or never and I can do this!" and slowly advanced to full throttle. The Falco pulled away just as before except this time in moments the ground just slipped away. It climbed away straight and true.
Did I have any rush of emotion? No, not really. It was like "Right, done that, now.. lets get on with it". Odd maybe but that's how I felt..... Time for pictures.
First Take-off !! or in the words of Vicki (My wife) .. "Oh my God.... It Flys!"
Great honey.. thanks for the vote of confidence !! She tells me that she meant it to mean.. "Oh my God.. it isn't just a pile of wood" .. yeah righto, whatever you say... :-)
I don't really know how to describe it but it just flew right off the ground.. Great !!
I wish I could put the small video I made of it on the web but its way too big.
2nd Jan 2004
Everyone knew that the big day for me was going to be the first time I took a passenger. Here we are taxiing in after taking Vicki for her first in my Falco. There was a small reception
12 Jun 2004
We had a lot of fun. We intended on popping over to Whitianga but it was raining so we went to Hamilton just to go somewhere else. We have definitely started something !!
Now I guess I need to paint it... urghhh... maybe later.
12 Jun 2004