Friday, October 26, 2012

Wrapping up Stage I in the IFR training Syllabus

With predominately good weather, only one flight got canceled recently due to low level wind shear alerts (wind speed at 2,000 AGL was in excess of 45 MPH). Navigation work under simulated instrument condition was the name of the game. Of course partial panel work (simulated and actual) was included for good measure, as were stalls and steep turns.

I learned how to fly a DME arc which is using a VOR as the reference point and flying part of a circle around it using the DME to provide range from the station to leave you with a pretty neat flight path. I learned to fly a localizer both inbound to the runway and outbound as a reference to intercept a certain navigational intersection. On Thursday October 25th I went for the Stage I check, where my basic instrument skills, the concepts and procedures I should have learned during the last 2 months were evaluated.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chaos in the Pattern

It was early in the morning (or late at night) the sun had net yet come up when I left my house for lesson number 8 in my IFR training, all I wanted was to get through the lesson checking off all the required tasks whichout much unnecessary excitement. In the beginning it appeared the would be the case, engine start was normal and we were ready to taxi, Ground Control asked us to give way to a Learjet 31, N29SR to pass east-bound on Taxiway Alpha on an early morning run to Chicago. All was going well.

The lesson was progressing without incident. No abnormalities were found during the run-up and we was cleared for takeoff on the calm wind runway, RWY 28. I demonstrated tracking the Runway 10 LOC (Localizer) outbound with reverse sensing. My proficiency with constant rate / speed climbs, turns, descents and any combination thereof was examined. Not the easiest thing in an airplane without an Attitude Indicator (AI), remember it failed on September 11th 2012 and has not yet been fixed. It has been placarded (photo below), however when the instrument is still visible it still creeps into your scan. Here's a tip I discovered mid-flight: completely cover the failed instrument, in my case I used a folded piece of paper. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pilot Training Tip #1 - Saving Money While Checking the ATIS

Hello Fellow Pilots,

In an effort to give back to the flying community I present to you the first in a series of flying tips and tricks that I have come across during my exciting journey as student pilot and beyond.

This first tip bought me a nifty piece of equipment and saved me $100's if not already over $1,000 thus far in my flight training. It can save you hundreds of dollars as well. It will also allow you to better utilize each block of time at your favorite flight school or flying club.

Video after the break.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Goodbye September, Welcome October

The weather out here in western Pennsylvania is transitioning to the cloudy and foggier type, and early morning flights are starting to become a thing of the past. Thursday the 20th was my last flight for September out of KBVI and it was with a guest instructor. 

I was excited to test out the mount I recently acquired for my Galaxy S II and the proper cables to capture audio direct from the intercom of the airplane. However on the takeoff roll the entire mount came loose and fell from the windscreen. I had to concentrate on flying the airplane and ignore the device now resting precariously in my lap. Turning 180 degrees to the right we started climbing out on a right downwind departure. With Bill maintaining shiny side up I was free to try and reattach the camera to the airplane. I have yet to find the perfect place to mount the camera.

We practiced slow-flight, stalls, timed compass turns and unusual attitude recovery. 

Until next time, blue skies and tailwinds.

Power on Stall in N273ND

Unusual Attitude Recovery in N273ND

My apologies for the airframe showing in the video, the quest for the perfect mounting spot goes on.