First day as a pilot in Chile!
Santiago Travel Blog› entry 2 of 13 › view all entries
September 16th, 2007 – by: cmgervais
I kindly volunteered LISA to fly first -- she's used to the Cessna, after all. I am a low wing gal. I was hoping to watch and learn something before actually having to take the controls!
We got the plane packed up, got a primer on the 210 (it's nice to know something about the plane you are about to fly!), then did a thorough preflight. Ready to go! Lisa was flying left seat, Jaime in the right, and Leo and I were sitting in back. The radio situation was very confusing, especially since neither of us could pronounce or understand the airport name (Topalabamba? Tobaboba? Lalabamba? TOBALABA!!!). And it took us a while to figure out that radio frequencies are stated as "one-one-eight-DECIMAL-eight.
Lisa flew through the mountainous area around Santiago, in a corridor through the complex Class B airspace--with Jaime's help, of course. Lucky girl! I sat back and enjoyed the spectacular view.
Lisa then got to land UPHILL at a SHORT, GRAVEL runway at Pichidangui. Excellent! There were sheep and horses around the runway.
My turn to fly! An interesting uphill short-field takeoff, followed by a climb out to 1,000 feet, which is right about where we stayed. Jaime dealt with the manifold pressure, and, of course, helped with that landing gear. It was a nice plane to fly, I had no issues. I experienced the satisfaction of a very nicely trimmed airplane. I also had it pretty easy on the radio (how could I mess up "La Serena," our next destination?) and I was also blessed with a nice, smooth asphalt runway, complete with VASI lights. I did a pretty good touch down, with no assistance from the right side of the plane. It was all very positive and encouraging, and highly educational.
La Serena, our stop for the night, was a bit more chilly and windy than we expected. As usual. Our room at La Serena Club Resort was quite heinous, resplendent in glaring yellow, green and blue. We all met up on the lovely (and all the more attractive for being wind protected) deck in front of the hotel to make acquaintance with the Pisco Sour, which we heard is practically the national drink. Pisco is a type of brandy distilled from grapes, and in this drink it is successfully blended with lime, simple syrup, and egg white. It's sweet, tangy - delicious!
For the dinner, the four of us walked down to the local pizza place. The pizza was not bad at all. And back to our room with the lively palette for a much needed night's sleep.
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