Fly-in Breakfast at Ponca City, Oklahoma: A good reason to learn to fly
Learn to fly so you can join us at the Ponca City Oklahoma airport on the first Saturday of each month. Before we left the FBO we had a briefing about the flight and who would be where and when. Doug Rand took off first being in a 145 HP C-172F because it is the slowest of the two. He had a great helper along, Roger Leben who is an A&P mechanic who also needs to learn to fly. Behind him was Lee Burk and his wife Theresa in a 172 followed by Daniel Barbee in his 172.
(Daniel’s flamed-up 172)
Daniel’s 172 has flames painted on the front cowl and claims it increases his airspeed by 5 knots (I’m researching this and if true my 182 will soon be 5 knots faster). Daniel is proud of his plane because when you learn to fly in rentals, you begin dreaming of your own aircraft. In fourth place and lagging behind was myself and wife Deb Potter. Our 182S is faster than the 172s in this gaggle of airplanes so we decided to give them a running start.
(Doug in the lead arrives with Lee trailing)
In route I passed the gaggle and headed to the runway in time to watch the landings. Everyone put their planes down smoothly and safely. The only incident was with Lee Burk who decided to demonstrate the art of going around when he found that Doug might be to close (good call Lee). When you learn to fly safety is the most important subject. The go-around is used to mitigate the risk that might be present during the landing. Simply put, you make the decision to go-around and throttle up and fly back into the pattern for another attempt.
(Theresa and Lee Burk happy about flying)
Ponca City Fly-in Breakfast is a great way to learn to fly in a crowd at an uncontrolled airport. When you get near the airport and switch the radio to 123.0 which is the common traffic frequency you will hear airplanes coming in from all directions. You have to have you head on a swivel and looking. It helps when you have a passenger to help call out traffic for you. When you learn to fly and get you Private Pilot Certificate it is not a requirement to learn to fly in this type of environment, however there are rules and procedures that are applied in this case.
As you learn to fly the instructor will teach you how to enter a non-towered airport environment without incident. Rules and procedures can all be found in the FAR/AIM book published each year by the FAA. If you learn to fly an airplane it is essential to become familiar with this book that resembles a door stop. Learn to fly and the world opens up to you.
Learn to fly and join us in the gaggle to an airport that has a restaurant that caters to Hangar Rats.
Carl Potter, CFI