That’s what I did today – finally went flying, settling in to a new CFI, new airspace, and new aircraft. Here’s the new bird, a Piper Archer II:


More horsepower, and I could tell. Also slightly different avionics and a Garmin 430 GPS, which is new to me as well. Today was a get-to-know you ride, and once in the air I wasn’t as rusty as I had feared with the exception of steep turns and ground reference maneuvers, but the landing was very comfortable. The new CFI is a stickler, which I like, and I learned a few things along the way as well.

Perhaps most exciting is the airspace:


KSPG Albert Whitted is a radar-equipped Class Delta, so I’m talking to ground and tower. It sits under the Tampa Bravo, and is close to the MacDill AFB and St. Petersburg-Clearwater Deltas as well. Lots of traffic in the area, including the occasional Airbus or C-17 passing through. Combine that with the field being directly next to the St. Pete skyline and the bay / gulf overwater flying, and it’s a whole new type of flying altogether. And I really enjoyed it, including keeping visual contact with the Army UH-60 Blackhawk departing KSPG as I was on downwind. Overall it was a really cool flight, and I can’t wait to get re-soloed and continue my real world training.

The next step is to get a solid Archer II profile running in the sim. That will be tonight’s project, time permitting.

16 thoughts on “Flying!

  1. Awesome. I take my discovery flight (weather permitting) this weekend, and will try to decide between a 172 and an Archer II! I feel a re-build of the sim coming on, myself, as I’m leaning toward the Archer for IRL.

    1. Enjoy it! I started in the 172 and moved to the Piper. I was just much more comfortable in the low wing aircraft, and found it easier to land (some find it more difficult). Do the first flight in the 172, and your second in the Piper, so you can compare …

  2. That sound great you guys are so lucky un the states you sone fantastic areas to fly in with challenging airspace very jellous. Good luck qith hetting re soloed. Because of your you tube channel and web site i have my first orientation flight for my pilots licence coning up in 4 weeks. After 6 to 8 months of flying in my own flight sime i set up like yours. Thanks for the inspiration keep up the great work i realy enjoy the videos i learn alot hope to see more soon

  3. Beautimous craft And lovely scenery for you to fly in!

    … As an aside, almost 50 years ago, my wife and three other cast members , on her way the theater, swerved to avoid a mattress freshly fallen off the back of a pickup… her driver sent them off the the a Tampa-St. Pete bridge, into the drink.

    They clung to razor-sharp barnacled bridge supports for two hours screaming for rescue from above.

  4. It all looks exciting and perhaps a step up on the challenges faced in your previous location. Is real world flying, Florida/Tampa and a Piper, more expensive than it was?

  5. It’s been great following you on your simulator and on your flying lessons. I’ve been building a simulator to assist in my IFR training and have it mostly functional (currently using 3 60″ TVs; I want to build a functional cockpit panel similar to yours). I’ve spent many hours trying to figure out how to get the Saitek FIPS to work with XPlane 11. I’ve seen you’re using to interface with them. Can you provide me some insight on how you have Spad linked with 11?

    Thanks, Paul

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