Showing posts from December, 2004

Night flight over the pennisula

Posted by my wife: Jason took me up tonight for a sunset/New Year's Eve flight. He reserved the plane yesterday so we'd have it today from 4:30 to 8 pm, giving us some leeway on either end. We picked up the key this morning since the flight school was closing at lunchtime today. We got to the airport around 4:30, and Jason began the preflight. The sun was below the trees but still seemed to be in the sky. We hopped in and taxied out around 5 pm for a smooth takeoff on 13. Jason had picked the Dinwiddie-Petersburg airport (KPTB) for us to head to first. This was nice since it took us out over the James River and directly into the sunset. It was a bit hazier and cloudier than would make an ideal sunset to see from the sky, but it was still nice with lots of soft oranges and purples.

IFR checkride!

This morning started at 2 AM for me. After feeling so unprepared for the checkride from my previous two flights, my brain was running at 1000mph thinking about the knowledge and skills I would need to demonstrate to the IFR rating examiner. It was 2:30 AM and I wanted to sleep, but all I could think about was how I would fly a DME arc or whether I'd need to demonstrate steep turns. I thought about all of the various weather charts that are available and how I certainly didn't have them all memorized - in real life I look at them to understand them instead of memorizing them - how much would the examiner want me to know off-the-cuff on the weather products?! Where would I need to park at KAKQ when I arrived there to meet the examiner? How exactly are the approach minimums affected when certain airport systems are inop? What was the weather going to do in the next few hours? Did I remember to do all of the cross-country planning the examiner requested? Had I forgotten som

Last practice before checkride

Today Charles and I went up for my last practice session before tomorrow's checkride. We left the JGG airport and went Northward to the HCM VOR. 5.5 nm out from the VOR we turned right to follow a 5nm DME ARC. We followed that for about 45 degrees and then turned inbound to do the FYJ VOR-A approach using the GPS and autopilot. I had some trouble setting the vertical speed on the autopilot, but Charles showed me what I was doing wrong (I was hitting the ALT key after setting the VS, which puts in back into hold-altitude mode, I just needed to leave it alone after setting the VS). We did a circle-to-land into FYJ on which I overshot the runway centerline a good bit. Charles reminded me to avoid doing that come checkride time. Then we started the VOR approach back into JGG under partial panel with only one VOR (it is harder with one VOR receiver because you need to identify an intersection based on specific radials from two VOR stations). Then he told me to do a hold at the

Practice for checkride

Today we went up for a bit to do some maneuvers under the hood (slow flight, stalls, unusual attitudes, timed and compass turns) and to let me get the feel for doing a non-precision approach with the autopilot. We had to dodge clouds the entire time, which made the simulated engine out especially interesting (I had to find a hole in the clouds to descend through on the way to a field). We scheduled my IFR checkride for Friday morning. Wish me luck!!! :)

Inverted final

I wonder what it would be like to fly in an airplane and do this type of landing (see the 1st place video): Radio-controlled plane on final .

More practice for checkride

Today we went up for 1.2 hours as more practice for the checkride. We only did approaches this time (no maneuvers) due to time constraints. We did a ILS, GPS, and a partial panel, single-VOR receiver VOR approach. I would guess that the checkride might have similar approaches in it. The flight went pretty smooth. I think I had the least number of errors I have had to date. The biggest thing was that I was a little off on my JGG VOR approach, I reached the missed approach time about 15 seconds before I should have, must have been a little fast. We used the autopilot for the ILS approach, letting it follow the localizer and the glideslope. This leaves the pilot to manage power and rudder (and get mentally ready for the approach). The autopilot was doing some serious S-turning, which was pretty sloppy, but it brought us in pretty darn close. I disconnected it just before we reached 250 AGL and did a touch and go. Today I now have a total of exactly 200 hours in general aviation a

IFR practice with short field

Today we practiced a GPS approach into a short field ( Hummel, W75 ). We did the GPS 1 approach and circled to land on 19. Hummel field was very busy and since it does not have any real taxiways we had to wait a loooong time to get a chance to backtaxi when no one was landing. Not a place to visit at lunch time on a nice Saturday for a simple touch and go. It was such a nice day that not only were there a million aircraft flying today, but all the pilots were in a good mood - and a bit overly-chatty on the radio. Made it hard to talk on the CTAF/UNICOM today. :) I now have 39.9 hours of instrument time and am working toward doing the checkride sometime very soon. Fingers are crossed that I'm actually ready. :) Since I need to fill out an FAA form (application for checkride) I need to make various calculations of the hours in my logbook. I am inputting my logbook into a database to make it easier. Once that is done, I'll likely hook it into this website.