Misc Solo Flights

Posted in Non Training with tags , , , , on March 9, 2011 by crosswindlanding

Ok, so it’s been a while between blogs, but i intend to do some catch ups.

So to start with, there has been some solo flights within my 25nm limit (its really not very far.)  I went for a lowish flight up to Cambrai, along the marne river  to black hill, and back along the Murray with some deviations here and there to check out the sights and see what people were up to.

Another flight on a 35degree day cross along the river to bowhill, then back to mannum and into the training area for some steep turns and stalls.  It was much nicer at 3500′.  Only 30degrees!

A flight to the west for a change, checking out the sights of callington, harrogate, palmer, and some general looking around.  I finished off with an engine failure, as well as some standard circuits, and an engine failure in circuit with a glide approach.   A nice bit of flying and general revision.

And another trip to Bowhill, but this time it was cross country. So i got to check out some different sights on my way, as well as snapping some pictures of friends places etc.    Back along the river to mannum, and then to the airport.   It’s quite a nice flight, with a fair bit of good scenery!

So, it wasn’t very long, but there wasn’t a lot to tell.   Just me flying around by myself.

Onto the Navigation flights next!

23/1/2011 – J230 conversion

Posted in Dual Training with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2011 by crosswindlanding

It’s getting hard to get time to fly the J170, it seems to be quite busy most of the time, so a conversion to the J230 is in order.

Arriving at the airport, i complete a daily inspection and pre-flight the J230.  It’s all mostly the same, engine has 2 more cylinders, and airframe is slightly different with another door in the back.   It is also a bit longer, but has the same wings as the J170.

An instructor hopped in with me, and i ran through the startup checks (all the same as J170).   Shortly after we were heading out to the training area.    Climb speed is 80kts minimum, but that still generally makes 1000′ per minute.    You also get the flaps up quite quickly after take off.

Once out at the training area, we started some turns, just gentle turns to the left, and to the right to get used ot the handling.    Then an engine failure from 3000′.  Nose up, airpseed back to 70kts, pick a paddock to land in, then fly some what of a circuit to land in the paddock.   I also threw a passenger briefing in there as well as a verbal (but not transmitted) pan pan call.   After this, the instructor asked me to head back to the airport and join the circuit.

After i completed 3 touch and go’s then a full stop, we had a quick break.   Then the chief instructor hopped in with me for several circuits, including one where the nose wheel was to stay off the ground for the whole ground roll, then asked me to make a full stop, hopped out, and left me to fly solo again.     My second time solo was nowhere near as nervous as my first.   I was actually quite comfortable with the whole experience.  I flew out my hour in the J230 doing circuits.   12 unassisted circuits in the J230, and 5 of them solo for the day.   I was quite happy.    At the end of the flying, i had a discussion with the chief instructor, who wants to fly some crosswind circuits with me before signing me off.   Should be good:)

The main difference between the J170 and J230 is things happen 10% to 20%  faster due to the higher cruise speed.   It’s very similar to fly to the J170, and you need to be very accurate with approach speeds to land.  It likes to fly, and an extra 5kts of speed at the end of the runway, seems to take half the runway distance to dissipate so you can land at a safe speed.   Oh, the J230 also sounds kind of tough when you start it.    The 6cyl sounds much better than the 4cyl.

Hopefully soon we will get a day with a nice crosswind, and I can complete my conversion to this aircraft and fly it when I can’t get the J170.

22/1/2011 – Navigation and Meteorology Theory + Exam

Posted in RA-Aus Flight Training with tags , on January 30, 2011 by crosswindlanding

Today we got stuck into a classroom session.    A bunch of us turned up, and sat a course on Navigation and Meteorology.   It was a good course with 6 students and 2 instructors (really necessary for the practical components).

Basically we spent the day discussing navigation and meteorology stuff, as well as learning how to use our flight computers, read the weather forecasts, reading our maps and drawing lines all over our them, 10mile markers, working wind corrections into our flight plans, what to look for in clouds, allowing for the magnetic variation, fuel calculations, appropriate hemispherical cruise altitudes depending on direction of travel, use of different radio freqs (ctaf, multicom and area), controlled traffic airspace, danger and restricted zones, weather forecasts, notams and a whole bunch of other stuff.

We were also given the opportunity to sit the exam,  which was a pretty standard multiple choice exam, that also required the use of the ruler, protractor and flight computer to complete a bunch of calculations to answer some of the questions.      I passed, so I was happy with that.   A good outcome for the day 🙂

Next step is some of the practical navigation flights.

14/1/2011 – First certificate holder flight

Posted in Non Training with tags , on January 30, 2011 by crosswindlanding

Arriving at the airport about 8am, i got straight into my daily inspection and pre-flight inspections on the J170. All is good, so i hop in, run throught all the startup checks etc, and off i go.

I took off and departed downwind from rwy 02 and skirted around the back of Murray Bridge on climb to 2000′. tracking along the River to Tailem Bend. Once i got closer to Tailem Bend, i was forced down to 1500′ to stay safely below the clouds. At Tailem Bend, i turned towards Wynarka, where i was forced down to 1000′ feet temporarily to avoid the clouds again. From Wynarka, i flew across to Bow Hill, with an obligatory pass and cirlce around over home, and some mates places to see what was going on. From here, I followed the River back to Mannum, made my inbound call, joined into the circuit on long downwind for Rwy02 and landed with a slight crosswind from the left, back to the hangar, tied the j170 down and finished for the morning.

That sums up my first 1.2 hrs of flying after achieving my RA-Aus certificate. It was good fun, and different being away from the airport and training area. There was a period after departing the circuit and the mid point of my flight where i had heard no radio traffic (on CTAF or Multicom), and i was starting to second guess myself, but then i started to hear some traffic on the CTAF which was strangely settling.

Next weekend i’m booked in to a Navigation and Meteorology Theory course, so that should be fun. Over the last week, i’ve recieved a bunch of maps and a copy of ERSA, as well as all of my navigation tools like a flight computer, ruler, protractor, etc. For the record, the flight computer is a non electronic rotating slide ruler.
this is what it looks like. Wikipedia Picture Link I know it is used for working out the effect that wind will have on heading and speed, as well as for other necessary calculations. Should be fun.

9/1/2011 – Flight Test

Posted in RA-Aus Flight Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2011 by crosswindlanding

After 24hrs of overthinking and fretting about the pending flight test after the previous attempt was aborted, i arrived at the airport and decided to get straight into my pre-flight checks. As i was complete, my instructor came over and asked if i was ready to go…..reluctantly i was. So off we went.

After all of the pre-start checks, post start checks, taxi call, taxiing to the run up pad, run ups, entering and backtracking radio call, backtracking the runway, lined up and rolling call and take off, we were away. Everything seems strangely harder when you’re being evaluated. But i completed a circuit and touch and go, then departed for the training area on climb to 2500′. Once we got to 2500′ we commenced some turns, both regular and steep, then an engine failure at altitude. I picked a farm strip in a paddock and lined that up for landing. I misjudged my circuit a little, and didn’t leave much safety margin in my final approach, but i was confident we would have made it in. After a go around from the farm strip, i commenced some climbing turns in both directions back to 2500′ and then a straight and level for a point on the horizon. Guess what happened next? another engine failure! so it was back to the same farm strip, flew a downwind leg, flaps down 1 stage, made a base leg, flaps down 2 stages turn onto final with some s turns and a sideslip to lose some altitude and brought it in quite nicely to the farm strip, power on a bit, fly along, power on some more, flaps up to 1 stage, full power, flaps right up and back into a climbing turn to 2500′. Passing 1200′ i was asked to do a precautionary search and landing at Rollos airfiled, so i made a circuit join call, and joined straight in (no other traffic) for my 500′ AGL overfly.
I guess i was feeling a bit pressured, as i made my circuit fairly small and tight and completed a 200′ overfly. At this point, my instructor commented on my tight circuit, so i made my next circuit larger, and flew my 100′ overfly, then a circuit with a touch and go, and upwind departure from the runway, then a climbing turn back to 2500′.
Once back at 2500′ i was asked to demonstrate some stalls. So i ran through the checks, and completed a series of stalls and recoveries, I managed a nose drop on all but 1 where it mostly just mushed along with the nose up not wanting to stall. As i throttled back up and raised the flaps, i experienced another engine failure (i must talk to the maintainer of this aircraft about this!). This time i elected to attempt my landing at Rollos airfield. Was i going to make it back? i wasn’t certain. Did i have a backup plan? Yes, a selection of paddocks along the way, just in case i thought i was going to come up short. Did i make it in? Yes i did, i was even at full flap on approach and touched down nicely about 1/3rd of the way along the strip. I was happy with that. I raised the flaps back to 1 stage, powered on, and took off departing upwind and making an inbound call back to Murray Bridge, followed quickly by a midfield crosswind join call, and all of the downwind checks, as i turned onto downwind, i experienced another engine failure! nose up, and turn towards the strip, called a Glide approach, added 1 stage of flaps, turned away from the strip to give myself a base leg to fly, made a base turn, added second stage of flap, turned onto my final approach, carb heat off, check brakes, fly an s turn to lose some height, followed by a sideslip to probably 40′ straighten up, flare, hold off hold off, hold off, mains touch down, hold the nosewheel off and raise the flaps to 1 stage. As i went to throttle up, the instructor said, “make it a full stop”, so i turned the fuel pump off and raised the flaps and turned off at the taxiway. As i passed the cones, made a “Clear of all runways” call, stopped in front of the hangar, brakes on, Mag check, Avionics off, throttle right out, mags off, note hours on hour meter, master switch off and were done.

As i took my headset off, my instructor asked how i think i went, what i did well and what i didn’t do so well. I felt like the best parts were the stalls, the glide approach and the last engine failure at altitude. And i was quite happy with every landing, no hard landings, no ballooning, no messy circuits, nice hold off, smooth touchdown, etc. I wasn’t so happy with my first engine failure at altitude, and i gained a little bit of height in my steep turns. But, then he reached over and said “congratulations”, shook my hand and that he was going to recommend that i be granted my flight certificate, and was happy with my flying. Phew! and WooHoo! After this there was a comment, that i should always keep practicing these skills, and that the pilot certificate is really a “Licence to Learn”.

As i was filling out the necessary paperwork, i realised there must have been some adrenalin pumping as i had a bit of a shake….kind of like my first solo. This wasn’t and easy flight, but was certainly rewarding 🙂

Next stop, passenger and cross country (navigation) endorsements.

8/1/2011 – Solo Revision + Human Factors Exam + Aborted Flight Test

Posted in RA-Aus Flight Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by crosswindlanding

Arrived at the airport, to find a stiff breeze blowing almost straight down Rwy20. Perfect. Completed my daily inspection of the J170, added fuel and pre-flighted as per normal procedures. Once i was up in the air, i decided to practice some engine failures in circuit and glide approaches. Was quite happy with how they went, so it was out to the training area for some stalls, steep turns, another engine failure (at altitude) and general flying around getting comfortable. I was happy with that, so then to rollos airfield for a Precautionary Search and Landing, then Back to Murray bridge for a couple more quick circuits.

Overall, pretty happy with the flight. I think i covered everything i needed too, and felt comfortable with it all.

After a quick break, i got stuck into the Human Factors exam. Now, it doesn’t seem to be the most logical exam in the world, but i answered with what i thought they wanted to hear, and passed quite comfortably. It really wasn’t worth all of the worrying i had done over the past week.

After my instructor got back from a flight with another student, we discussed my last flight, then he said he was going to come up with me for my next flight to see how i was going. So i preflighted the J170 again, and we hopped in, and did 1 low level circuit, then landed and taxied back to the hangar. Flight test aborted for the day, due to poor weather (low cloud). But the good news is, everything i did to that point in time was good. So i was off to a flying 🙂 start.

1/1/2011 – Solo steep turns + revision

Posted in RA-Aus Flight Training with tags , , , on January 9, 2011 by crosswindlanding

First day of 2011, the weather was nice, so i called and booked a lesson. Arrived at the airport, put fuel in J170, Daily inspection, pre flight inspection and i was off to the Northern training area for some solo steep turns and revision of Engine failure at Height.
I started with some steep turns to the left and right, and once i felt like i had them under control, i completed several engine failure simulations. I still don’t manage to say anything to my “passenger” that doesn’t end with shut up and make sure your harness is tight, But i’m sure they get the idea. Normally i’ve been training in the NE training area, but this time i wanted a different scene with different paddocks, houses, roads and power lines.
I was pretty happy with my first attempt, but my second attempt i ended up using my backup paddock selection as i was going to overshoot my primary selection and not manage a safe landing in it. My third attempt was pretty good as well i think. My approach felt good, and i decided to climb back up to 3500′ and do some more steep turns.

I think i managed my best steep turns so far. I kept my steep turn up through almost 720deg for several of them, and even managed to get some bumps as i flew back through my wash from the entry to the turn. I like steep turns a lot.

After i finished flying around in tight circles, i tracked back along the river, made an inbound call, and flew back to the airport, did a couple of full flap circuits, then put the aircraft away.

From here, i think i need to practice some Glide approaches, and i’d like to do another precautionary search and landing before attempting the test. I’m expecting the test will highlight the bits i really need to practice, before resitting the test!

I think i had a great start to 2011!