Thursday, April 27, 2017

On The Way To NRAAM

Just cleared security and probulation at DTW on the way to Atlanta.

I got a nice TSA massage of my right leg for some unknown reason as the porn scanner seems to be ringing everyone in that line.

Next time I might just appropriate me some Scottish heritage and go full tilt kilt to really enjoy the experience.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Would Not Have Believed It Had I Not Seen It Myself

I went to the Post Office by Costco today to get some responses out by mail in a timely fashion.

On leaving the Post Office I got to see quite a sight.

Two ladies in their cars, from opposite sides of a row in the parking lot managed to each reverse right into each other.

It looked like something out of bumper cards.

No serious damage to either car, and they then went on their merry way, hopefully more alert and aware than before.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Flying Lesson #117 - Stage Check I Part II

So I arrived at DCT on another pleasant day but with building winds.

Winds were initially 10-12 knots from 180 then through the flight swinging and blowing 10-15 from 140-150.

I pre-flighted N1689H and meetup with Marcus who would be doing my stage check.

Startup and run-up were fine and I did a nice crosswind takeoff. We flew out to the northeast and then he had me do slow-flight, power off and power on stalls and steep turns.

My slow flight was quite nice today - held the altitude pretty much, got back some in a climb when I lost a bit, did the turns and had no issues.

Power off stall was fine but he wanted me to do it again to a full stall rather than the buffet, so I did.

Power on stall he wanted done at full power which I did and the power on stall in an Archer is practically a non-event, no snap like on a 172.

Then I did steep turns and they were better and he gave me a nice pointer to improve them a bit.

He then cut the throttle and said your engine just quit what do you do? So I set best glide, looked for a decent field and stating a spiral approach and restart flow and he was happy with that.

Overall I'm certainly more comfortable with the aircraft at this point.

Then I flew us back to Pontiac and we did a normal crosswind landing that I handled quite nicely.

Then on the next short final, he had me do a go-around just before I touched down, which I did fine.

On the next one he had me do a power off 180 which I had not done mby myself before. You get to the end of the runway on the downwind, chop the throttle and don't open it up again. Then you turn in towards the runway and using your best glide speed get there and then pop in your flaps when the runway is made and land accordingly. Quite fun and I did it well enough that he was quite satisfied with my performance.

Then we finished up with a couple more patterns and landings, and that was the stage check and he let me know I passed. I still need to work on my steep turns and crosswind landings a bit s he could tell that while I did them i didn't like them much, but apparently I'm good to go on.

1.6 and 4 landings.

Now where did I put that Hachimaki?....

Monday, April 24, 2017

A List Of Things I Promise Not to Do If I Ever Get My Solo Endorsement

Yes, I've come up with a Top 10 List Of Things I Promise Not to Do If I Ever Get My Solo Endorsement:

1. I will not put on a Hachimaki and yell “Tenno Heika Banzai!” when starting up the plane. (Yes, I have actually thought about doing this .....)
2. I will not radio the tower and request a flyby.
3. I will not then buzz the tower with a flyby after they deny me the permission that I didn't ask for by radio above.
4. I will not land on the taxiway (Sorry Han).
5. I will not say to myself after departure: "Now take me to Cuba!".
6. I will not say on getting the endorsement "I'm going to just go take it out for a spin".
7. I will not land the plane with no crosswind correction with a 17 knot crosswind just to see if the POH is right that the plane can take it without damage.
8. I will not take off using left rudder instead of right rudder just for variety.
9. I will not request a takeoff clearance with: "Archer N1689H call sign Sterling, ready to go on a rampage."
10. Finally, I promise not to radio "Hey, y'all watch this!", especially right after putting on a Hachimaki.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Why My Learning To Fly Is Like The Third Man

Yes, my flying experience so far is indeed like the famous spy Harry Lime, the Third Man.

How so you ask? Well let me tell you a little known tale about Harry Lime.

What few people knew is that during the war Henry Lime was secretly pulled from a mission where he was deep undercover and taken by a British submarine to the US for a vital eye operation from a famous eye surgeon at Walter Reed Hospital.

After the surgery he had to recover, but the recovery started to take quite a long time, longer than the submarine commander expected.

Indeed the submarine commander surmised, and quite rightly so, that Lime instead of going to the hospital for his checkups was instead enjoying the local nightlife and local women a bit too much.

Finally the commander had had enough, especially upon seeing Lime all bedraggled after a late night bit of carousing and so he ordered:

"I want you gone straight from the Sub Lime, to the Reed oculist!"

Just like the Third Man, my flying sure as heck has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, and so there you have it.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Flying Lesson #116 - More Crosswind Patterns

No stage check for me today.

I turned in my written pre-solo test and then went up with Ray in N1869H.

It was at least a bright sunny day, but the winds were from 030 to 060 and blowing from 8-16 knots so I kinda knew at the outset they wouldn't let me solo in those conditions.

With that happy thought in mind I did the preflight. Ray said he was just going to act as a passenger and I would do everything.

So I did. He didn't need to take the controls at any time in the lesson, but did want a bit more right rudder on a few of the landings while I was slipping it in during a gust or two.

Overall it was fine, landings were decent enough, though some a bit flat-ish, one a bit of a bounce as a gust caught and lifted us the moment right before touchdown and I handled it correctly. A few good landings as well.

Some fun around the pattern as a Super Cub showed off a bit and had fun doing so, and quite a few planes were flitting in and out but no issues and the tower did a great job perfectly spacing everyone.

I got to do another intersection takeoff which is fun.

We finished up and he said I did fine and my crosswind correction was very good and just needed a bit more right rudder on a couple of them. We went over the pattern procedures a bit as he wanted me to tune a few things up and he figures the next hop will be the flying stage check followed by the final checkout and solo - stay tuned but don't get your hopes up any.

1.7 and 10 landings.

Friday, April 21, 2017

JAFGS - Stage Check Part 1

So I had the oral portion of my pre-solo stage check today. Weather was sucky for flying anyways.

As is their procedure a different instructor, Tiffany, an CFII who I've never met before conducted the test. To say I aced it would be an understatement.

It ended with her telling the chief flight instructor that I had not just passed the stage check but that I'd pass the check-ride oral based on that performance. So I've got that going for me I suppose, which is nice.

Next is an in-flight stage check, which Tiffany will likely also conduct and if I pass that I get to be signed off to solo. Again. Finally.

But before I do that, I have to do and submit another pre-solo written test. 53 questions on 6 pages that need to be answered 100% correctly. They just do not get less tedious the second time around.