Erie Medical Center -- I want to tell everyone how I taught myself to fly an airplane without an instructor. A friend of mine has a pilot's license, and he took me for a one hour ride. Boy, that was fun! So after watching him all of that time, I thought, gee - I could do this myself.
So the next Sunday, I went to the same airport, and saw the exact airplane my friend took me up in. I knew I had remembered everything, so I just hopped right in, hit the starter button, and the next thing I knew I was taxiing down the runway.
About half of the way down the runway, I opened the throttle, and suddenly I was in the air! Wow, it was just like my friend did.
The controls are just like on my Hyundai - there's this thing that looks like a steering wheel, only it's cut in half. I don't know why, but I like the one in my car better. I think Cessna should have left it alone. Then there are two pedals on the floor. They don't make the airplane go faster, or slow it down. I just noticed that when I pressed on them, the tail swung wildly back and forth, and I heard this screeching horn. I haven't figured them out yet. When I get home, I'll ask my friend about them.
When you want to go up, you pull on the steering wheel, and when you want to go down, you push on the thing that looks like a steering wheel. The other thing I noticed is that when you push on the steering wheel, the airplane really speeds up, like on the roller coaster. I almost passed out. I'll have to ask my friend how to slow the airplane down.
The other thing I'll have to ask my friend about is when I want to turn right or left. Those two pedals seem to move on their own, and I heard that screeching horn again.
When the hour was up - I was timing it just like my friend did - I aimed the nose at the airport, and pushed the steering wheel forward. Like I said, the airplane reaaly speeds up, and I haven't yet figured out how the brake pedal works. Well, I thought I touched down OK anyway. Then I remember waking up in what looked like an operating room. I know what an operating room looks like from when I had my tonsils out.
One of the nurses told me a guy from the FAA came by to see me. He probably wanted to tell me what I did wrong, so I don't do it again when I have my second lesson. She told me that the FAA guy was turned away because I was too heavily sedated. She said they had to give me morphine when I was first brought in.
I've been told I can go home in about another three weeks. I can't wait, so I can have another flying lesson!