Yes, been on holiday to The Netherlands since I got my Advanced Local license, then a few bad weather weekends, then I had to go on holiday again, tramping in the Aspiring National Park 🙂 and now, yes I can fly again !!
My instructor Terry offered to hop in the plane with me to see if my memory and instinct was still working after not having flown for 9 1/2 weeks.
All went well, after a few little comments, except for my flares, the very last thing of landing. This is also the one routine I had most problems with during my training when I switched over to this taildragger.
But yes after a few circuits it got better and better. Terry hopped out of the plane and I did a few more circuitrs, solo this time. But yes this flare is something that needs reminding/practicing all the time, also under different conditions! So next time I will be doing just circuits, low level if its nice and quiet, so I can do more of them ! 🙂
Only one day before I go on holiday, back to The Netherlands to see my family. Its my dad’s 80th, looking forward to that !
After getting my Advanced Local Licence a week and a half ago, I really wanted to have a little flight, my first Advanced Local flight, before my big trip. This Thursday morning was perfect, made a 0.9hr flight, just after 0700 so I wouldn’t be to late for work.
A bit of a frost at home on the lawn, so when I got to the hangar and pulled KNZ outside, I topped her up with fuel, checked the coolant and the oil before I ran the engine for a few minutes, to warm it up. That was followed by my pre-flight checks. All good.
And my flight. Yes took off from Rangiora, flew West to Oxford, turned around, towards home, over Forest Field, via Cust and Back to Rangiora. Here I joined, and completed my flight with a glide-approach a big side-slip, and a perfect landing 🙂
Yes this (glide-approach and side-slip) is something I want to do as often as possible, to be prepared for a no engine event (engine failure)! Being able to land like this gives you a better chance to get into a paddock and land properly.
I mounted my little video camera to my head-set and recorded the whole flight. Below is just a bit 🙂
0:00 – Intro
0:15 – Take-off on RWY25, vacating the circuit, tracking Oxford
2:16 – Getting closer to Oxford, pointing where it is 🙂
3:07 – Flying over home @ 3:42, with big dairy farm (our neighbour) on the left
4:00 – Joining Rangiora circuit, checking out a plane who’s just taking off on RWY07
4:29 – Descended to 1000ft AGL into cross-wind over the RWY25 threshold, and last check of the windsock. Yes its RWY07
5:06 – Reaching the end of down-wind, initiating a glide-approach, engine idle, sweeping turn followed by a side-slip into RWY07
Next time I need to create a bit more of a gentle turn as I was a bit to high, but all good. Keep on practicing!!!
I took half a day off from work yesterday morning (Friday). Had a 1 1/2 hr lesson from Dave as preparation for my Advanced Local flight test today. As I had been flying with Terry for the last few months and he is new to instructing, yesterday was a good test to see if I was ready for it.
Well definitely a few thing to brush up there. Mainly theoretical things, procedures:
HASELL; the things to check before doing Stalls:
Height; enough, more then 2000ft, so its safe to stall as you easily drop a few hundred feet
Air-frame; plane configured correct, flaps neutral, engine ready to idle
Security; safety harness tight, no loose objects
Engine; enough fuel, temperatures correct, fuel pump on
Locality; stay away from build up areas
Lookout; to a 360 turn to see if there is no one around
And what to do in case of an Engine Failure:
Glide, nose down and maintain the optimum glide speed (least amount of drop per minute)
Wind-direction, know where the wind comes from to select a landing spot
Field-selection, find a nice long enough field, no animals, no fences, no power lines, no trees on start of field
Plan-descend, visualise the descend path, know when to turn into finals
Engine-final-check and Plan-descend; see if there is a reason for the engine failure; fuel, switches AND plan descend again
Brief-passenger; tell him to secure safety harness, explain where we are landing, tel him to look out for houses so we know were to go after the landing
So yes last night I did some learning…
And also I wasn’t aggressive enough with my stalls. A bit scared from my side I suppose. After closing the throttle, raise the nose, and gently pull the stick ALL the way towards you. Wait for the stall (and apply opposite rudder when one wing drops to prevent a spin) then move stick forward 2 inch, apply power and pull up again. From the moment it starts stalling you are looking at the ground!! and that looks scary but because you have lots of height when practicing, thats all good. Just need to do it lots and get used to it. All practice for the day when it happens when you don’t expect it.
And the last thing I had to brush up a bit was my side slipping. Also not aggressive enough. Full right ruder and left aileron and forward stick to maintain a good speed. That will get you down, loose altitude really quick. This is mainly used with forced landings, and to a lesser extend with normal landings when the engine is working. But even here, a normal landing, you always need to be prepared for an engine failure, so I should always be too high and side-slip the last bit into the runway so I always have enough height in case the engine does fail….
We also did something new. Slow flying. Basically slow the engine a bit, pull up the nose and maintain the same height. Then slowly drop the engine speed and raise the nose more to maintain the same height. All that time the plane goes slower and slower, eventually well below the stall speed. But because the engine is blowing more down now you’re not falling out of the sky…… The reason for all of this is to experience that at this stage the ailerons stop working so stick sideways stick is hardly doing anything or nothing at all. The only thing that works is the rudder. So yes that was a first for me but Dave talked me through it and it worked !
So yes today, as you can see below, a perfect day. Did all the things we practiced yesterday and implemented all the procedures I rehearsed last night. Also did turns, left and right, gentle and steep while maintaining height. Did lots of stalls, and all going well. Did some forced landings, did’t get down fast enough down for the first one, but second and third one were good enough. When we joined the circuit again, after the first touch and go did an engine failure practice straight after take-off, landing in the river bed, just beside the air-field, down to 20ft….. Also did a final with to much height and aggressively side slipping into the runway….
When stopped at the club house (see below) Dave told me I had passed !!
YEAH Advanced Local now. Can fly anytime withing a 50 nautical miles radius now, outside controlled air space 🙂
In the instructor room we filled in the RAANZ upgrade forms. So its all official now !!!!