Taking off into the friendly skies

Harrison

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Flying has its ups and downs, but before you leave the terminal, things need to be smooth sailing to soar the friendly skies.

When preparing for takeoff, Fairmont State University Aviation Center of Excellence Flight Instructor Kevin Webb says that a pilot must have their checklist to ensure that they are good to go.

“Just as an aid there to help them cover every item that needs to be fulfilled to successfully complete the flight,” said Webb.

Fairmont State University Aviation Center of Excellence Flight Instructor Kevin Webb preparing his aircraft for flight

Once everything is checked and the passengers are buckled, it’s time to taxi onto the runway and take flight into the headwind.

Webb says following the wind direction and keeping an eye on the weather is important as you ascend to thousands of feet in the air where the land below looks small.

However, all good things must come to an end.

When you’re 3500 feet up in the air like we are right now, you have to talk to Air Traffic Control to get the clearance to land back into the airport.

Now, that we have the go-ahead, we start our way back down to the surface, but how does the descent occur?

“Reducing throttle and reducing our angle of attack or pitch, basically putting the nose down. By reducing throttle, we’re reducing our thrust on the plane,” said Webb.

It then produces less lift on the aircraft as its weight helps the plane ready to land. Once on the ground, the plane taxis to the hangar before it once again, takes flight.

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