Posts Tagged ‘flying’

Night flying

29 November 2007 – 21:52 CDT

Did my first night flight last night. Was way different than I expected. I expected it to be easier to find things than it was. I’m surprised at how much I was relying on fixed objects on the ground to determine my position during the day. It was a pretty strong cross-wind, which made the stop-and-go landings that much harder.

Soft-field landings, grass strip

20 November 2007 – 18:52 CDT

Visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday. Between my schedule and lousy weather around TZR the last couple of weeks, there hasn’t been much flying. Picked up 1.1 this afternoon at KSMS. Got some good instruction in ground reference maneuvers, and actually did some short/soft field work on an actual grass strip – not just pretending the asphalt was grass. I’m sure there are places around TZR to work on grass strips, but the FBO rules prohibit landing their planes on non-paved surfaces, except of course unless you contact 121.5 first.

The particular aircraft I flew today was a little bit different – there was no flap position switch ie set it and forget it. This one was press and hold to extend the flaps, and toggle up to retract. The grass strip wasn’t too much different than paved, but trying to do short-field was a little strange – especially considering I nearly hit the top of a tree of my first attempt, landed long on the next two, but managed to do pretty well on the fourth. One of the things that I kept forgetting was to pull the yoke back to the stop as soon as I touched down. Flaps have to be immediately retracted, and carb heat closed – things which normally wait until after I’m clear of the active unless I’m doing a touch and go.

Three of the four IPs at KSMS (who had business cards at the desk) are CFIIs. I didn’t realize it until after he was gone and I saw his card, but the IP I flew with is ex Airforce – a Lt Colonel. Very cool.

ILS approach, cross country

4 November 2007 – 09:25 CDT

Shot my first ILS approach yesterday – in simulated IFR conditions. Wasn’t hard, but was definitely different not being able to see what I was doing. We didn’t actually follow the approach plate instructions, just to the NDB and then followed the needles down. Also did some working figuring out how to use the VORs. The DG was crap tho. Had to basically reset it after every turn.

Simulated Instrument

29 October 2007 – 23:36 CDT

Got some time “under the hood” as they call it. Basically you fly around with these crazy safety glasses that block your vision so you can’t see much of anything except the instruments. The idea is that even as a VFR pilot, you need to be able to deal with inadvertent flight into IFR conditions – ie into a cloud where there are no outside references for your speed or attitude.

After we were done I overheard my instructor say to another IP that I was going to make a pretty good instrument pilot. I think that is because I’m very detail-oriented. As he put it in a briefing last week “meticulous” or as another fellow pilot who is keeping tabs on me said, “anal”