Levelling off at 2500 feet was a little bit of a challenge as the concept of a VSI was thrown in for good measure. “What the heck is a VSI?” I politely asked. You’re always polite to the instructor when you realise that the only way that you’ll survive your first flight is by their good graces. “The VSI is the Vertical Speed Indicator and when you are level it should read zero.” was the patient reply.
I imagine that we’ve all done it. Chasing the VSI is almost like a game the first time you fly. I sometimes wonder whether instructors have a perverse sense of humour watching a rookie chase the VSI up and down for a while prior to telling them about holding attitudes etc.
Next came the DG. I jumped in quickly when I heard yet another acronym and was quickly told that the DG is the Directional Gyro or in other words, “where you are going”. I’m glad that I wasn’t told at this stage about caging, aligning the DG with the magnetic compass etc.
So by this time, I’ve forgotten about the ASI and concentrated on the DG, VSI and Altimeter and it wasn’t long before all of them got out of kilter and the instructor gently set the controls right again. Flying lopsided isn’t a really pleasant experience so the Artificial Horizon (AH) and Turn and Balance were brought into play and I felt my brain expand in another order of magnitude. I momentarily thought about the level of expansion will be in direct proportion to the headache later that night....