Wings and A Prayer Page 2
Love and Landburg enjoy what they do. This is why they continue to teach instead of taking jobs flying cargo.
They would like to get jobs with the airlines. However, before a pilot can qualify as an airline transportation pilot (ATP) they must have 1,500 hours of flight time. Landburg said flight instructing is a great way to build up that time.
Flight instructing does have benefits beside building hours. Landburg and Love enjoy working with people and helping them progress. Just carting cargo around would not be exciting. Teaching also helps sharpen their skills.
"By teaching someone else, it helps your flying twofold," Landburg said. "You learn from other people as much as you teach them."
For Love, it was the fulfillment of a life-long-dream. "I always wanted to teach, and I was interested in flying," Love said. "I remember as a kid I always wanted to be a pilot."
"I'm definitely not doing it for the money because there isn't any," Love said. "Hopefully someday the hard work will pay off."
Instructing does have its risks. Landburg and Love both vividly remember times when students have scared them.
One day Landburg was teaching stall awareness to a student. A stall is when the air flow is disrupted around the wing and usually occurs when a plane is going slow and/or is at a high angle of attack. When a stall occurs the pilot is supposed to give full power and pitch down to gain speed. If the pilot does not pitch down, a spin can result, which is more dangerous than a stall.
"I had a student recover from a stall who was not pitching down, so we semi-entered a spin," Landburg said. "So then next time we went through a stall series and he stalls it, he pushes it over vertical--straight down--to recover from the stall and proceeded to pull out at very high speed. That was very interesting, I envisioned the tail ripping off, but I forced him to pull out, slowly, of the dive."
One other experience that stuck out in Landburg's mind was a day when a student, on final approach, almost stalled the plane. Final approach and takeoff are two of the most dangerous times during a flight. A stall could result in a crash because there is no altitude with which to recover. Love has also had close calls on final.
"One time, down in Oregon, going into the Oregon coast on a really nasty day with a student, we got some wind-shear on final approach," Love said. "I ended up taking control of the airplane, but we still smacked the ground really hard."
After a short flight, I had flying straight and level--down. As we returned to the airport, I began to think about landing. Marsh was calmly helping me through the pre-landing checklist. Marsh had his hands close to the controls on his side, and was reassuring me that if I got in trouble he would take over.
As we came to the end of the runway, Marsh pulled the power back to idle and told me to slowly pull back on the yoke. The wheels hit the runway, and we bounced up in the air only to return to earth seconds later. Marsh looked at me and said, "well done." As he taxied the plane back to park, I wiped the sweat from my forehead, thinking "that wasn't so hard."
As I walked into Pegasus Air and prepared to pay for my first flight, I began to think I could do this. I knew at that point I was hooked and would have to sign up to get my pilots license.