Flight lesson: flying to São Carlos airport in a small airplane

When it comes to flying, the “place” is very big: a whole part of the country over which you are flying, but it is also very small: the cockpit of the small general aviation aircraft, where two grown ups fill the entire space not leaving much room for the movements you have to make in order to… to fly the airplane! The people are the unknown heroes who make the flying club work well: the old man who opens the hangar in the morning and takes the airplane out. The mechanics who take care of the maintainence of this aircraft, they are responsible for making an old machine from the late 1940’s still work 6 to 8 hours a day virtually everyday the meteorology allows it to fly. Many pilots still flying in South America countries learned the basics and accumulated their first hundreds of hours of experience flying this beauty: the Paulistinha. (pronounce it somehow like “Pauleesteen – ah”). The story is the mission I had for the day: to fly this airplane to São Carlos, another city nearly 75 nm from Campinas city. Not too much far away, but still it was an interesting flight, since it would be almost entirely inside the airspace of the Pirassununga Air Force Academy, therefore demanding a special work of communication to make sure everything was alright.

The Paulistinha, a brazilian aircraft similar to the old Piper airplanes, a lovely machine to fly!

The Paulistinha, a brazilian aircraft similar to the old Piper airplanes, a lovely machine to fly!

Looking around before the flight, I can’t help but to feel inspired by all the airplanes surrounding the place. I really love to admire the aircrafts, be it for their design, their technical misteries, the aerodynamics of their controls, be it in their poetic secrets. Where else have these aircrafts flown over? How many times were they responsible for the “first flight” experience of someone? Who are the pilots flying these aircrafts today, and how is it that flying change their lives? How many childs were inspired by these wings and by the sound of these engines, and are now flying the skies in commercial airliners? When you are in such a good mood as I was, it is really not a problem that it’s impossible to objectively answer those questions: imagination is still free to appreciate an unlimited universe of opportunities, and I feel peaceful.

It was morning in the Americana flying field and the sight of the airplanes all around was very inspiring

It was morning in the Americana flying field and the sight of the airplanes all around was very inspiring

This time I was not alone. The day was sunny and there was practically no cloud anywhere in the skies. There was another aircraft flying with us and I was with the stupid-zooming lens of my Nikon D5100 camera (not a professional one but surely one that can scare you out!). I even asked the student in the other aircraft to smile for the picture!

Another airplane flying with us made the flight very a very different and very pleasant experience.

Another airplane flying with us made the flight very a very different and very pleasant experience.

And zooming the picture you can see that my request for her to smile was not unjustified!

And zooming the picture you can see that my request for her to smile was not unjustified!

When you are a student pilot flying to a place you’ve never been before, usually one of your main difficulties is finding the destination runway. This, of course, assuming you are making a visual flight (no GPS allowes for the student!). That was my sistuation, having the compass, the airspeed indicator, my chronometer and a paper map as my only navigation resources. It was not difficult, though, to spot the São Carlos runway. The reason: usually they expect visitors quite bigger than my dear Paulistinha. There works the facility for the maintainence of the Airbus aircraft of TAM airlines, one of the major airlines in Brazil, which operates around 130 200-seaters Airbus aircrafts. So the runway was quite long for the Paulistinha and quite easy to see from above.

The runway of São Carlos airport is finaly in sight!

The runway of São Carlos airport is finaly in sight!

On my way back, near Piracicaba city, I spoted the ruins of this industry. I really don’t know what it once was but I thought the image quite interesting.

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I then tried to take some pictures of the road and of the landscapt, but as you can see the flight instructor flying with me this day is kind of an egocentric person!

The instructor was trying to go outside the airplane... does it mean I wasn't flying that well?

The instructor was trying to go outside the airplane… does it mean I wasn’t flying that well?

It was a hot day in the sunny Brazil, and the cruise speed of the Paulistinha is around 80 knots, so there’s no problem if you put your head outside to a great picture or just to refresh yourself a little bit. But, please, do not try this on your next Boeing flight!

Can you see I was very happy?

Can you see I was very happy?

Happy I was. 🙂

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About Axel Pliopas

Between flying and engineering, I try to find some time to explore everything I can... Looking for interesting people and places, and trying to tell some of the interesting stories I find, is the objective of this blog. In the process, hopefully, my pictures will get better and better (they all say experience time has something to do with this...)
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5 Responses to Flight lesson: flying to São Carlos airport in a small airplane

  1. Alexandre Loureiro says:

    Ducaraio, aeromotoboy…… Abraços, kkkk

  2. kaie w. bird says:

    You are the coolest. Ever!! What can’t you do?!

    • Axel Pliopas says:

      Hahahahaha, oh my dear friend.. the obvious answer would be: I have a hard time trying to focus too much on something! =P Other jokes applies, I think: It’s difficult for me, for example, to work at least once in a while, between one crazy activity and the other; and to pretend to be normal, but that, in the best of the ways, I’m sure you can’t, too! 😉

  3. Ben D says:

    Too cool! So neat to see general aviation flying in Brazil. Keep on flying!

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