First flight: very... exciting

Ben Kimball

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First flight: very... exciting
« on: July 17, 2010, 09:17:31 PM »
Hello everyone! First time user, first time poster.

I'm feeling flushed with success, as I just landed Archer N4178D safely at KAUS after a harrowing and quite unexpected encounter with VFR-into-IMC flight during my first flight on VATSIM. Special thanks to Mr. McNew (HOU_38_CTR), who provided lots of friendly help and advice on taxiing around KIAH. I was completely lost, never having visited that airport before. He talked me through taxiing and takeoff procedures, releasing me into VFR flight as I was exiting his class B airspace on the way up to FL85.

Just after I'd reached 8500 ft, in the vicinity of ZMSKL, the weather abruptly changed and I found myself in the middle of a thunderstorm. My little Archer was being thrown all over the place and I could barely hear comms over the sounds of rain and/or hail. I first concentrated on trying to re-establish stable flight without the aid of visual references. Once I felt fairly secure, I contacted HOU CTR and asked for a route out of the storm. He advised descent to 3000 ft at heading 290 for Navasota airfield, 16nm. I had a heck of a time trying to get the Archer to descend out of that storm, and I overshot Navasota by a large margin. Happily, when I finally reached 4500 feet, the weather cleared and I was able to resume my course for KAUS at FL25. I landed about 20 minutes late, shaken but unharmed, feeling lucky.

This was my first cross-country flight in any flight simulator, and only my second successful landing! I have logged just 1 hour of actual flight training: an "Introduction to Flight" course I took (in the real-life Piper Archer III N4178D) from Step Up Aviation based out of KAUS. So let me tell you, when visibility went from 10+ to 0 in no time at all, and my instruments went nuts, my heart was really hammering a mile a minute!

In summary, I had a great time during my first flight. Thanks to everyone who helps make VATUSA go, and maybe I'll see you soon in the (hopefully friendlier) skies this summer!

Best,
Ben Kimball
N4178D
KAUS
Ben Kimball
ZHU ARTCC S2, Major GND
Flying Piper Archer III N4178D out of KAUS

Harold Rutila

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First flight: very... exciting
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2010, 11:42:52 PM »
Always trust your instruments! Glad you had a great time.

Johnathon Neilsen

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First flight: very... exciting
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2010, 04:28:00 AM »
Welcome to the wonderful world of VATSIM Ben! Glad you had an awesome time.
Johnathon Neilsen, ZAN_EC
Events Director
ZAN Anchorage ARTCC
www.vzanartcc.net

Salvatore Barcia

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First flight: very... exciting
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 12:45:51 PM »
Welcome to VATSIM!
Salvatore Christopher  Barcia
Cross the Gulf President
ACE Team Member
Miami ARTCC

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Romano Lara

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First flight: very... exciting
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 07:30:46 PM »
This is a really interesting story. Well written! I hope you can drop by Honolulu soon, and have some fun with island hopping which is very famous in our place.
Romano Lara
Anchorage ARTCC, C1