The hardest part about learning to fly at a towered airport is learning how to talk on the radio. You have to talk to ground control to get permission to leave the school and taxi to the runway. You have to talk to the tower to get permission to fly. Once you’re in the pattern, they will give you instructions on when to turn and where to turn so that you don’t crash into the other aircraft in the pattern.

Sometimes they will tell you to “extend downwind.” That means they want you to keep flying in a straight line so that other traffic can land ahead of you. That’s why some of those turns extend all the way out to Hufsmith road, nearly four miles north of the airport, and others are much closer. Even though the standard pattern at this airport is to turn left after takeoff, if both runways are active, the tower may ask you to turn right instead, which is what they did.

Even though learning to fly in the pattern is fun, learning maneuvers is even more fun!


Before you ask, that wasn’t an attempt at drawing a dick. We flew north to work on steep turns, turns around a point, S-turns, and stalls. We were heading northeast, did one steep turn to the left, leveled off, did another to the right, leveled off, then turned around before flying over lake Conroe. Then we descended and started circling some ponds in the area before going northwest to do some S-turns and then some stalls on the way to Navasota.

These were my first flights with my new instructor. He says my stick and rudder work are really good and I’m really close to soloing. Just a bit more work and I’ll be there!