Flying A Loop

How does it feel to loop a Cessna?

During my second lesson as a student pilot with Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Bob Woodson, 4/27/1978, I asked Bob “Do you ever get air sick?” He replied “No, do you?” I must have triggered something within Bob.

Without giving me a clue why, Bob took control of the Cessna 150, N9404U,  and climbed to a higher altitude. Pushing the nose over to get more airspeed, Bob then pulled up the nose with full throttle . We felt significantly increased G force as we approached vertical flight. The 100hp under powered Cessna barely had enough muscle to keep us in our seats, inverted, at the top of the loop. Bob looked at me and I was grinning. I think he wanted to shock me. As we passed through inverted horizontal flight Bob pulled back power to prevent engine over speed. Passing through vertical diving flight, the positive G forces were again felt as we approached level flight.

I was on an emotional high for at least two weeks after that flight. I wanted a surprise for Bob in case he ever tried that again. I purchased a miniature cap pistol to use if Bob did another loop. My plan was to shoot the cap when we were pulling maximum G force, expecting Bob to react to the sound of a cracked wing spar. Unfortunately he did not give me opportunity.

Learning to fly with CFI Bob Woodson was the high point of adventure in this lifetime. In addition to being an excellent instructor, Bob was so much fun.

After taking the active runway, Bob called the Control Tower asking permission to take off. The lady in the tower, also a student of Bob’s, listened to him say,

“This is the man in the bird to the flower in the tower,
give me the word and I’ll give it the power.”

This is just a preview of what it was like to fly with Bob Woodson in 1978. Bob later became an airline Captain with Piedmont Airlines then US Air.