Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back on track.

I flew again in the Warrior today, this time in the morning when it was relatively cooler. We did hood work and unusual attitudes, where the CFI has you put the view restricting hood on and look down while he does all types of crazy stuff with the airplane. Then you look up at the gauges only and try to get the plane flying straight and level. This simulates accidently flying into a cloud, getting all screwed up, and then trying to right the plane. I felt I did pretty well, until the last time. I tried to correct the airplane but it was flying soooo slow...what the heck was going on. I checked the flaps, they were down, and added power, but it still flew sluggishly. What the heck...? Ooops...take a look at the vertical speed indicator, it was showing a 500 feet per minute climb. My CFI had adjusted the artificial horizon (you can change the position of the little airplane based on your height). So, I thought I was level but I was in a pretty steep climb. I did figure it out, though, eventually.

So then, we practiced "lost procedures". Jimmy had tried to get me lost by flying to a different area, more to the north and west than to the south and west of the airport. Adding to this was the muggy weather and lower visibility. I immediately identified two distinctive lakes and turned right towards the airport. Jimmy realized the gig was up so he had me tune in the FCM VOR and fly to it. The odd thing was, as I got closer the VOR steered me in the wrong direction (after initially working fine). I double checked the frequency and it looked fine. So, I flew back towards where the airport should have been, and sure enough, it was there.

We did a regular, short, and soft field landing, and it's obvious I still need to practice landings in the Warrior. Thankfully we can incorporate landing practice in with the other lessons so it doesn't have to hold me back.

A note on the Google Earth track today: the website I use to convert the GPS file to .kmz has a limit of 1.5MB. My track today was 1.6MB so I split up the file into two tracks. If you open one, then the other, in Google Earth you will see the whole track, and it will be glorious.

Google Earth Track:
North! To Delano (Part 1)
North! To Delano (Part 2)
Logbook: Logshare


Jock said...

It would have been a pretty funny trick if "Jimmy" would have drained all the fuel and jumped out of the plane while you have the hood on.

Keith K. said...

Well then I would have set up for an off-airport landing by pitching for best glide speed, choosing an upwind landing spot, going through the emergency checklist, and landing the airplane carefully.

Steve said...

Keith... did you know you can change the logging frequency? If you knock it down to every 5 seconds, you can get about a 6 hour flight in the 1.5 Mb size limit for GPS Visualizer.

I haven't logged any in that mode myself but aside from quick changes in velocity (takeoff/landing, really) I can't imagine it having any real effect on the track.