Sunday, February 25, 2024

Flying - Instrument Practice Made A Tad Bit Exciting

The sun was out the sky was clear up to 25k and it was windy.

A lot of wind. Indeed a lot of crosswind.

10-22 kt gusting at Pontiac and  it was blowing from 180-200 degrees. Pretty much a direct crosswind for Runway 27L.

 I had James along as a safety pilot and we did the preflight and run up on the Piper Dakota, and I arranged for flight following to Flint to get my approaches in and regain my IFR currency.

Good takeoff with quite the gusty wind to keep me on my toes. The Dakotas has plenty of power and is heavier than the Archer and I'm still getting used to it, but that weight and power sure makes the winds a bit less of a factor. 

I then put the foggles on right after takeoff and got on the instruments. Adding to the fun, there was  a fair bit of chop and bounciness as well.

I contacted Detroit Approach and we headed to Flint.  Used the autopilot to try it out and it was rather nice.  Got handed off to Great Lakes Approach and setup for the RNAV 27 approach at Flint and all was going well. 

Got vectors and started the approach on autopilot, and was cleared for the approach and switched to tower and got the option for Runway 27 and soon things started getting weird.

After getting established, I had massive back-pressure on the yoke which was kinda disconcerting as it was trying to climb the plane, and how.   Disconnected the autopilot and it was still very heavy backpressure which was weird.  Pushed the trim forward and still a lot of backpressure.  The autopilot came back on at some point (there's a chance James hit the wrong button as we were diagnosing it bit that's not for sure) and backpressure remained and so we turned it off again, but still a lot of backpressue.

We decided to land to figure things out.

Did a good approach even fighting the yoke and did a very nice crosswind landing under the circumstances.  Taxi'd to the run up area and checked everything out and ran the autopilot preflight proceedure again, and checked its actions and it worked just fine.  I think the trim got out of whack at some point with the autopilot and once we re-trimmed the heck out of it, all was well again.

Then we took off again and no further problems, but I decided to hand fly it just in case.

We did the RNAV 27 again.  This went much better and even with a heckuva crosswind correction in I did a really great approach.  We went missed and then I did the ILS 27 approach. Even with the winds pushing us around a lot, causing the controller to give us some revised headings as the ones he gave initially didn't correct enough for the wind, I got on the localizer and glideslope and ran it like it was on rails. That was pretty happy making.

I still need to fly the Dakota more as I'm not nearly as intuitive with it as I am the Archer and the power adjustments need to be refined.

We then headed back to Pontiac and I did the 27L RNAV to land on 27L. I did a great approach, even though I was getting blown a lot by the wind and had to correct for it quite a bit so we were coming in at quite an angle with the nose pointing to the left of the runway.

22 knot direct crosswind and about 10 knots of wind shear on short final made for an exciting landing.  That was the most crosswind I've handled in a while and the wind shear made it even more challenging. Still, it was a darn smooth landing for all that.

I mean, James didn't scream even once during the entire flight.

So, I'm now IFR current again, and it is a real confidence booster that I can handle the plane in those rough and windy conditions and still make the approaches and landings happen. That was some great instrument practice.

That's 2.0, 1.6 simulated instrument time, 2 impressive crosswind landings, and 4 approaches.  This was also the final entry in my first logbook, on to logbook #2.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Saturday Short Range Trip

Went to the range this morning, it was sunny but cool out at 31 degrees with a touch of wind. 

 Decided to try out my new p365.

It's the P365XL Spectre Comp in FDE. Got it on sale last month, and just got a Holosun 507K2 to mount on it (EPS Carry was not in stock unfortunately, as I would have liked to give that a go). So, I took it to the range to get it zeroed today.

It was shooting quite low and left, and then I managed to adjust it.

 

Then I shot two B-8s with 10 rounds at 10 yards each, and I'd say it's been zeroed in now.

I was very happy with those results. I'll take 100 points any time, and getting 2 100s in a row was very happy making indeed.

Then I did some Bill Drills.

The slide's integrated comp really does reduce recoil quite measurably, and the dot stayed in the A-Zone box throughout each Bill Drill at 7 yards.

However, combine the winter jacket, sweatshirt, some very cold fingers, and a lack of practice, and my performance was rather off.  

While I wasn't throwing shots out of the A-Zone, the times themselves were rather sub-par, averaging 3.56 seconds per clean Bill Drill with a 1.5+ second draw.

So yep, more practice is certainly needed if I'm going to improve.

I ran 300 rounds through it on this first outing, with no issues whatsoever.  I was by then rather cold, especially my fingers, and decided to call it a day.

As a carry piece, the P365XL Spectre Comp certainly has a lot going for it.  

Recoil is less than the P365X, due to both the slightly longer slide and, of course, due to the integrated compensator which really does work. The trigger is very good right out of the box.  It carries a ridiculous amount of rounds in the magazine (12 flush fitting. 14 flush fitting with a mag guts internal change, or 17 slightly extended). It also is a very compact size and conceals perfectly in a PHLster Pro holster, while still carrying a full-size gun's capacity, and with the comp it feels like it shoots like a bigger gun, too.

In short, I do indeed like this P365XL Spectre Comp, and I'll be shooting it more, soon.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Dem's Act Blue Funding Hamas Supporters

MSN.com: Democrat Fundraising Juggernaut Processes Donations To Hamas-Sympathizers

MSN.com: Here’s How The Liberal Money Machine Is Fueling Pro-Hamas Activism

So, Act Blue has been sending money to Hamas sympathizers including the DSA, Palestine Legal, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights,  and others.

The Dem's major online fund-raising tool is busy being used to fund terrorist sympathizers.

Funny, that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

First Charges Under Michigan's New Gun Storage Law Go To A Pre-Exisitng Felon

Passed under the "If it saves just one life fallacy, Michigan's new gun storage  law is there mainly to make law-abiding owners ownership of firearms  more cumbersome.   

 So far, after being publicized loudly and touted as a panacea, it's not doing much to deter bad actors:

The Detroit News: Flint man whose toddler shot herself in face is first person charged under new storage law

Michael Tolbert, 44, faces multiple charges, including first-degree child abuse, a felony violation of Michigan's gun storage law, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and lying to a police officer in a violent crime investigation. He also faces several charges for possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.

We're all, of course,  totally surprised that a felon in possession of a firearm didn't comply with this new law that required him to safely store the gun he was not even allowed to illegally possess under laws that pre-existed this storage law.  

I'm sure this additional safe storage violation felony charge - in addition to the four other felonies he's facing will be the one that puts him over the top and sets him on the road to reform.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Biden Administration Succumbs To Green Pressure

It looks like the Biden admin really wants the pro-Hamas vote in Michigan and elsewhere in America for November.

Reuters: US pushes for UN to support temporary Gaza ceasefire, oppose Rafah assault

The United States has proposed a rival draft United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war and opposing a major ground offensive by its ally Israel in Rafah, according to the text seen by Reuters.

Great, this is what happens when you combine the Arabists in the State Department and the Biden Admin's need for progressive and Islamist votes in November: Some Arab American, Muslim leaders meet with Biden officials in Wayne Co. amid protests.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Green On Blue: Pressures Build In The Democrat's Shaky Coalition

Arabs in Michigan are rather unhappy with Biden right now for not protecting Hamas.

So much so, that progressive squad member Rashida Tlaib (D-Dearborn Gaza) is now calling on Arabs in Michigan to not vote for Biden in the primary but instead vote uncommitted to show they're not happy that Biden is not doing their bidding to protect Hamas.

After all, Dearborn is indeed known as the jihad center of America, and with good reason.

The Detroit Free Press: Rep. Rashida Tlaib urges Michigan Democrats to vote 'uncommitted' in protest against Biden.

If Tlaib is heeded and the Arabs around here sit the November election out instead of voting Democrat, this could get interesting.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Archer Ferry Flight Accomplished!

So this morning we decided to try and get the Archer to Adrian.

Conditions were better than yesterday with Marginal VFR conditions and ceilings around 3,000 or so.

So we preflighted the planes and decided to launch.  This would be a flight of both the Archer and the Dakota.

We arranged for flight following, as our course would take us through Ann Arbor airspace and rather close to Detroit's Bravo airspace. So, it's always good to be talking with Detroit Approach where you're that close to their Bravo.

E. flying the Dakota, as it is a faster airplane, took off first and would scout the route.

Takeoff was good with gusty winds from 250.

The overcast layer got a tad lower as we headed southwest, and I was soon at 2,500 feet.

E.  reported light to moderate turbulence as he approached Ann Arbor, and indeed I soon hit the turbulence which made it a bit of a bouncy flight.

Detroit Approach cleared us through Ann Arbor's Delta airspace and I got some nice shots of The Big House as I flew on by.



 
 
  Yes, the Big House is Big!

The turbulence subsided as we got south of Ann Arbor and Detroit Approach  noted no other aircraft in the area, ended flight following, and had us squawk VFR.

At Adrian, winds were gusting 10-21 out of 250, so not bad for a landing on Runway 23.

Eric checked out the field at Adrian and radioed to me that it was nice and clean and no one else in the pattern.  So I did a practice RNAV approach to Runway 23 and did a very nice and smooth landing.  I then taxi'd off the runway and headed to the avionics shop to meet up with him.

1.1 on the way there with some strong headwinds, turbulence, and a great landing.

We dropped off the Archer, and then took off in the Dakota and I flew us back. We picked up flight following again, and again were cleared through Ann Arbor's class D.

I got to play with the autopilot and let it do most of the flying back. Again there was quite a bit of turbulence and we got bounced around quite a bit and had to stay around 2,500 to remain out of the clouds.

We then got back to Pontiac and landed in gusting 10-22 knots from 240, which again was not too bad.  First we were cleared for a left downwind to 27L, but this was soon amended to a left downwind for 27R.

0.6 on the way back, and another nice landing.

Best part of all, since these were ferry flights to get the avionics installed, the Flying Club covered the cost of the flights.  No flying is better than free flying.