It’s About Aircrew

The low clouds and snow flurries retreated today and, as luck would have it, Capt Norm Malek and I had scheduled the G1000-equipped CAP C-182 all afternoon.  So we launched around 1:00 and wrung out the aircraft for a total of 3.3 Hobbs hours.

As of this morning, all of my approaches for instrument currency dated from October, which means that they’re going to expire next month.  So I clearly needed some approaches.  Capt Malek didn’t need as many, having recently flown some single-pilot actual as part of some aircraft repositioning work this week.

So I rocked out a hold on a DME fix about 18 miles sooutheast of Flint, then went in for the ILS 27, the RNAV 18, the ILS 27 again, and the VOR 18 before landing and switching pilots.  2.0 ASEL high-performance and 1.6 of it under the hood.  We had some VFR traffic around NUPUE, my intended IAF, and I volunteered to be vectored to JUBER instead, so there was some fast fingerwork on the G1000.  But no worries. [Read more...]

Dave Allen Visits, Approaches, and I’m Good to Go at Flight 101

This is a regular blog post. Please check out the other posts if you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio.

David Allen from The Pilot’s Flight Podlog was in town on business on Tuesday, so we got together at Panera Bread for dinner and to shoot the bull. Ella joined us. Good time!

I flew with Andy Mawdsley of Flight 101 at KPTK to get checked out to fly the Cessnas there. Something line 2.2 in N9926Q hours getting familiar with the aircraft and the avionics. Most or all of the Flight 101 C-172s are equipped with Garmin 430s and the panels are a little different from what I’ve flown in the past, so I wanted to get familiar with the aircraft in addition to getting checked out to rent Flight 101’s aircraft. I had not flown an instrument approach in a C-172 since February 20 and had not flown any instrument approach at all since the multi rating on April 20 or so. I was really pleased that I ended up really flying them well. For the most part, needle departures of 1/2 deflection or less with most of the time being within two dots.

VOR-A Lapeer (D95) with the published miss and hold at MIXER, RNAV 18 KFNT, 2 x ILS 9 KFNT, VOR 9R KPTK, and ILS 9R KPTK. And that’s my six instrument approaches, intercepting and tracking courses, and holding, so I’m instrument current for the next six months!

Andy in the cockpit while being vectored outbound before the ILS 9R at KPTK. It was pretty dark and I didn’t use flash, so it’s a little blurry, but what the heck. Andy (Dr. Mawdsley!) is a pleasant guy with whom to fly. Rode me appropriately for the more prominent altitude or directional deviations and was really helpful in explaining the Garmin.

We had intermittent radio problems at KFNT and ended up switching to COM 2 after COM 1 failed during the final phases of the second the ILR 9. No biggie.

A shot of the sunset while being vectored outbound for the ILS 9R at KPTK. Not a bad shot for a guy under the hood and just holding the camera above the dash.

A shot of the flight line bracing the camera on the fence. Airports are so pretty at night! The parking lot light gives you just enough light to be able to see the aircraft and the lights from the other side of the airport are gorgeous. Nothing else looks like an airport at night.

2.5 with VOR 27 FNT with Published Miss, RNAV 18 FNT, ILS 27 FNT, VOR 18 FNT, LOC B/C 27L PTK

This is a regular blog post. If you’re looking for show notes, please see below.

Can anyone think of a better way to spend a Monday morning than weaving up and down through a 500-700 foot thick overcast layer shooting instrument approaches? So can I, but Winona Ryder was unavailable.

Nailed five of them (summarized in the title to this post). Flew it mostly with the hood up because I like to have two fully-functional pilots in the cockpit when I’m in actual. Plus, even the cockpit of a C-172 seems a lot bigger without the hood on.

That’s Steve Roemer, CFII extraordinaire. Former air cav pilot in Viet Nam. Sometimes I think that I’d have to be inverted before he’d intervene, but I’ll flatter myself and believe that his calm disposition is a result of my nailing the approaches. (Wait ’till we get out there VFR and he can fail by vacuum gages – Then we’ll see who’s nailing what!)

My eminently-organized kneeboard. ATIS and clearances on the left. Approach briefing cheat sheet at the top right of the pad. Climb, cruise, descent, and pre-landing checklist usually on top on the right followed by other approach plates, the IFR low-altitude en route charts, spare taxi diagrams, then my leg. Energency checklist dangles on the side to my left in the third panel of the kneeboard. Don’t know how I’m ever going to fly center stick because I really like this kneeboard configuration. At least I can still keep the pen Velcro-ed to my noggin.

The multimedia capture area (sometime known as the back seat). M-Audio MicroTrack 96/24 on the right to capture audio. Old Sony Handicam with analog video input in the center. Battery pack for the bullet cam next to the Sony. Bullet cam is mounted with Velcro to the top of the mag compass in front. No apparent adverse effect on the mag compass.

Wish I had remembered to hit REC once I confirmed that I had signal! Anyway, I’ll get some video on the next appropriate flight.