Aviation

So Yesterday...

So yesterday I was zinging along with the petal to the metal doing 130 knots or so. Pilot in command, controlling my own destiny, on my way to OK to have some lunch with my awesome copilot. Today I'm over New Orleans on my way to FL at 39,000 ft doing 650 knots and it's not nearly as cool. I'm not squashing the petdals, I'm not yanking nor banking. I guess first class makes it worth it, but having the yoke in your hands is many many times better than any first class seat.  

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL500/history/20121104/2225Z/KDFW/KTPA

Eeekkkk....

Yesterday was a bad/scary day for 49G. This happened at Decatur, KLUD, and had the runway closed for a big chunk of the day. I don't have any solid info on what happened but it was on roll out and not actually landing. Should find out more info next week from the Pilot himself. Just glad his OK. Airplanes can be replaced. 

Pretty sad...

Wow, That's pretty sad. Only 13.8 flight hours in the past 12 months. I really really need to fly more. I think the uncertainty on the job front is the cause for this lack of flight time. Well that and yen years of home maintenance happening all at once. When I get through this tough period I plan on pushing the hours way up. I want to get to 200 hours in the next two years. Then it's my complex endorsement and I'm on the the Bonanza.

Transient

Sold, mostly anyway...

I think I've sold another share this week. It's not final yet, but he's agreed and the club is voting right now. I'm still not very good at the sales part of this position, but I'm learning. It's hard work. Hopefully we can finalize this next week. Then it's on to the next share. 

Got the itch...

I am really needing to go fly. I'm still needing to get a flight review before I'm legal again. It looks like I finally have it scheduled for next Thursday. I think I'll just flip flop some days off to get Thursday off. Vacation is also an option. 

Gotta know when to throw in the towel...

I was supposed to be flying Brandt to his Mom's this weekend. It's a really nice flight through some interesting airspace and is always a good learning experience. This time it looks as if I'm going to have to cancel. Too many things starting to line up against us.

For starters big storms coming in late Sat, early Sun. I'm fine with dogding pop up storms here and there but I don't really need to be anywhere near big storms. Second is the wind. I'm fairly capible of dealing with winds. Flying in Texas you kind of have to be. I've seen forcast for gust in the Altus area from anywhere between 35 and 45 MPH. In an 1800lbs airplane with a lot of surface area I think I'll steer clear of 45MPH winds. We have to be up there at a very specific time. No problem, but the Moon is not cooperating with allowing us to fly at night. Moonset is at like 2pm or something like that. Clouds aren't helping either. With dew points high and the spread low the cloud bases are surely going to be less than 2k until nearly noon. Then you have the NASCAR race. TFR will surely be in effect and the traffic will be much heavier than normal. 

As you can see, we have a number of things lining up agaist us. I don't think it's smart to put yourself in a position where bad things can happen when you do not need to do so. I'm sure we could make it work, but It's just not worth it for a recreational flight. It may all be a moot point because right now the Skylane is down for a prop spinner back plate. So it may not be flyable by Saturday anyway. I guess it'll just have to be another day. 

 

Still waiting...

So I'm still waiting for 5WB's new engine. It's been sitting in the hangar for nearly a month now. Half disassymbled. The cowls are off, I believe at least one cylinder is off and everything is covered up. Pretty sad actually. We should be getting the new engine any day now. I was thinking about going down and talking with Gary personally. Getting info straight from the horses mouth so to speak. Anyway....

Preflight Inspections, worth their weight in gold...

Today I went out to the airport to fly for the first time in over 6 weeks. Might as well been a life time. That's what it felt like. Anyway, when I got up this morning, the weather looked decent. Low clouds and fog where the order of the day west even though looking out my window here at the house was clear and sunny. It was forcast to burn off pretty quick and was supposed to be light west winds. 

After the weather started to come up I headed out to the airport. Arrived at about 11am an started my preflight. It wasn't to long and I noticed a slight issue. On the bottom of the right horizontal stabilizer there was a panel missing.  

IMG_0769

Not really a huge deal but still nothing you would want to fly with. I'm pretty sure that it is the result of the annual inspection. Either it was not installed after the inspection, or wasn't installed correctly and lost sometimes after the inspection. The biggest thing I was unhappy with was that the airplane was flown 4 times since annual. 

I went down to Gary's hangar. Gary is the guy that did the annual. I asked him if we had left a panel with him? Amazingly enough, he did have a panel. He said that he had found it out on the taxiway. I'm unsure if he really did or was just protecting himself if he didn't reinstall it. Either way, we had people miss it on preflight and fly without it. Anyway, I reinstalled the panel after inspecting all the components behind that panel. And all was well. 

The rest of the flight went pretty good. The winds were forcast out of the west at 8-10 knots as of last night. Well they ended up WSW 15kts gust to 21kts. Good for crosswind landing practice but right at my personal limits for crosswinds. Good for confidence building. 

I flew to 0F2, Bowie Municiple. On the way I did some air work. I did slow flight both with flaps and without. I did power on and power off stalls. Proved once again that you really have to try to get this airplane to stall. I did one engine out practice. It worked out well. I did two very pretty landings at Bowie. Made even better since I was way high on both and still managed to get it down nicely on that relativly small runway. I did have 1 go around. It was my first in real world flying. The approach was good. I got a little to slow and had a pretty high sink rate too close to the ground. I'm sure I could have safely landed but no need in pushing it. Plus it was a perfect go around. Probably about 1 second from the time I though about the go around until I had made a decision and applied power. I was probably about 20 feet when I stopped the decent and began to climp out. 

The flight back was pretty nice. A dry line hanging out west of Decature made for a bumpy ride for a few minutes. Landing back at Denton was smooth. Drifted a little with the winds, but other than that, nice landing. 

Here is a link to the rest of the pics. http://www.flickr.com/photos/iflyjet/sets/72157626401764204/

 

Interesting find...

This past week I was driving down US82 and as I looked off to my left I saw something. A Martin 404 (N255S). Sitting out in the sun with the weather and all of natures elements doing there best to return her to the earth. After returning home and doing a little google-ing I found that I wasn't the first to discover this airplane. They have done a much better job telling the story of this aircraft than I could, so I'll let them...  

One Martins Fate

Propliners Off Airport N. America

AOPA Airport Info

Notice the 5 Cessna 150's and the Bonanza in the foreground.

   

My first view from the highway. Sorry for the quality.

 

Pictures from others.

    

 Google Maps. This isn't in the same location I saw it, but close. 


View Larger Map

One last thing I noticed. After looking around for "how did it get here", I notice a grass/weeds runway. What I didn't know until later was that this wan't a grass/weeds runway, it was 2380 ft of asphalt. Just badly overgrown. 

Skylane Five Five Whiskey Bravo

Today mother nature was a bit more accommodating than she had been the past couple of times I'd tried to fly. I got out to the airport a bit early. I had time to pre-flight and stop by the FBO to grab a AFD and something to drink well before John the instructor got there. 

We did about an hour or so of ground training. I can't say I learned a lot, but I had a lot that was reinforced so that was good.  All of our ground work went smoothly. We got started up, taxied out, contacted ground, did our runup and was ready to go. 

We were cleared for take off and we were off. Felt really good to get back into the air. The first thing I notice after getting a little distance from the ground was that I'd planned on climbing out at 110mph but with even a shallow climb I was indicating about 70mph. This was strange but everything looked ok so we continued.  As we climbed picking our way through the clouds we were full throttle and should have been climbing at 100-110mph but were indicating closer to 65mph. 

Everything looked pretty normal while we were doing some slow flight maneuvers and stalls. I did notice it took a TON of right rudder to keep it pointing straight but that seemed to fix itself. Could have been just weird winds. We flew out to Gainesville, KGLE, for some landings. The instructor decided to do the first landing to kind of show me what to look for. That's when things go weird. On pretty much the entire approach and landing we were riding the stall horn even though we were indicating 80mph. The plane was mushing really bad so we knew we were slow. The instructor said it just felt wrong. I was up next and he was right. On my landing we got real wobbly.  That's normally a sign of being slow and just above a stall for a long period of time. I was indicating 85mph while this was going on. After landing we checked a couple of things. We decided we'd fly the approach at 110mph to see if that would seem fast or not. On climb out our airspeed went from 60 or 70 down to zero then after a few seconds it went up to 90mph where it should have been. 

After a couple of trial an error landings we found that if we kept about 95mph that would actually be about 70mph and allow us to land fairly normally. Even with all that figured out, the gusty winds made landing a bit tricky so not a lot of learning was happening on this day. 

So with all that we headed back for Denton. Was a fairly uneventful return and landing. I was able to find my way back to the hanger without getting lost, BONUS!  Got refueled and put back into the hanger all nice and neat. It was a fun flight. And even though we had some issues I did learn a lot. And most importantly I got some confidence that I'd been lacking. 

Tomato Flames...

I was asked this past week what obscure aviation fact I was learning that day. I said I wasn't just learning an obscure fact that day, i'd been learning them all week.  I'd been learning TOMATO FLAMES, FLAPS, ABCDE, UNOS, ANDS, ARROWE and AV1ATES. These are Mnemonics for minimum equipment, night minimum equipment, engine out procedures, mag compass errors, required documents, and required inspections.

Tachometer
Oil pressure
Manifold pressure
Altimeter
Temperature sensor (liquid-cooled)
Oil temperature (air cooled)
Fuel gauge
Landing gear position
Airspeed indicator
Magnetic compass
ELT
Seat belts

Fuses (spares) or circuit breakers
Landing light (if for hire)
Anticollision lights
Position lights
Source of electricity

Airspeed
Best place to land
Checklist
Declare
Execute

Undershoot
North
Overshoot
South

Accelerate
North
Decelerate
South

Airworthiness Cert
Registration 
Radio License
Operation Limitation
Weight and Balance
Equipment List

Annual
Vor
100 Hour
Altimeter
Transponder
ELT
Static

 

Flight Training...

So I'm, once again, seriously considering getting my private pilots license. At least every year I go though this period where I want to get it since I miss aviation so much. Going back to the USAF isn't really an option and at this point in my life it's not really something that I'd do anyway. So I'll never get back to C-5's but that's not to say I can't get back into the wide blue yonder...

I've looked at a number of flight schools online lately. Many have very poor websites, if any, and not any information that I actually found helpful. American flyers was by far the best from what I can see sitting in front of my computer. So I figured I'd give them first shot at me.

My ulitmate goal at this point is to be able to retire some day and go teach others to fly. Anybody that has ever talked with me for more than ten minutes knows that I can talk aviation all day. So teaching others something that I love seems to be a natural progression of my passion.

This past week I contacted American Flyers via the contact info on their website. Below is the response.

Hello William,

Thank you for your interest in American Flyers.  I would be happy to provide
you with some information regarding the private pilot program.

Every private pilot program consists of a combination of ground instruction,
simulator instruction, dual flight instruction, solo flight instruction,
simulator instruction as well as homework and self study.  Every student
learns at a different pace.  There is really no such thing as a "one size
fits all" program.  We find the average student requires between 80 and 100
total hours of education for successful completion of the rating if they
train a minimum of one time per week.  If you consider ALL the necessary
costs and training I have described, including exam fees, the cost for
textbooks and study materials you can expect an investment of $10-12,000 to
successfully complete your private pilot license.  

One of the largest factors affecting the duration and cost of a program is
the frequency of training. The more you train, the faster and more cost
effective your program will be.  It is possible to complete your training in
as little as 2-3 weeks.  American Flyers is available to train whenever your
schedule allows.

Please give me a call when you get a free moment.  I would enjoy the
opportunity to elaborate on our program, especially the differences in
training at an FAA Approved part 141 school like American Flyers vs. a
non-FAA Approved part 61 school.

Blue Skies,

Jeff Omet
American Flyers
800.362.0808
630.584.4700
www.americanflyers.net


As of right now I plan on calling American Flyers Sometimes late this week or early next week at the latest. I'd like to speak with them as well as go down and take a look around. Maybe even a discovery flight if they offer something like that.