I’ve progressed to do much of the radio work during my flying lessons. At times it can be a bit overwhelming trying to talk and fly an airplane. Before takeoff I have to talk with Clearance and then Ground and then Tower. After takeoff I have to talk with Tower and then Departure. There’s an awesome website, LiveATC.net that provides the ability to listen to Air Traffic Control (ATC). Madison’s is available at http://audio.liveatc.net:8012/kmsn.m3u or http://alt.liveatc.net/kmsn. The KMSN feed has Departure/Approach and Tower. The cool thing is that there are archives for the past 30 days so I can go and listen to myself talking on the radio, very much like a bewildered student pilot. I tried to find the first time I ever talked on the radio, which would have been to the Tower in order to be cleared for takeoff but I think that it may have been blocked by another communication. However, I did get to hear myself talking to Departure after being handed off from the tower that day. Here it is!
Last winter I went on an introductory flight in a Cessna 172. It was the first time I had been in a General Aviation (GA) aircraft. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. What I liked was the freedom of movement in flight, the exhilarating feeling of taking off, and the way I could forget about normal everyday life and “get away” for a couple hours. I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to follow through on getting a private pilot license as it is quite a commitment but I decided to at least take a few lessons. So I scheduled a few lessons and got up a couple times but due to the bizarre winter weather we had it was not worth trying to fly regularly. What I learned was that in order to retain what you learn you need to fly frequently as in at least twice a week. Therefore I decide to shelve the whole idea of a private pilot license until the spring or summer and think it over again. Well I picked it up again in early June and have been flying alot ever since. I typically get up two or three times a week and on top of that I’m enrolled in Wisconsin Aviation’s ground school which meets for three hours every week. Needless to say I am almost completely consumed by flying at this point and don’t have time for much else in the way of hobbies. I started out in the 172 but it went in for its 100-hour inspection which was going to take two weeks so in the meantime I transitioned to a 152. I just fit in the thing with the help of a shoehorn. At this point my thought is to continue my training in the (cheaper) 152 and once I’ve obtained my license to use the 172 or get checked out in the Piper Cherokee. Here’s a picture of the plane I’m flying, N49439: