Saturday, September 23, 2006

Another exam down.....Human Performance

Sat my Human Performance exam this afternoon. I didn't do as well as the Air Law....I got one question wrong this time and only got 96%. Oh well, can't ace them all.

Now the joke with the boys was that I brought the wrong crib notes into the exam with me...hahaha.

I had quite a good flight today. We woke up to cloud hanging around at 3500 ft, so that meant we couldn't get much training in for some of the more difficult aspects of flying. I flew "Golf Foxtrot" today and she has issues with her radios. We had to put up with static on the radio for the entire flight and I think we had a stuck comm button a few times too. It was pretty annoying to listen to. So instead, Kevin got ATC clearance to fly through the clouds where it was clear on top and taught me how to fly on instruments only. It was SO MUCH fun and I really felt like a proper pilot, do what the boys in the airliners do on a daily basis. It's funny though, because your inner ear (which helps tell you which way is up etc) gets confused because you have no visual references. So you have to trust the instruments and rely on them for clues on what the plane is doing. It was hard work but VERY enjoyable. We tracked a signal from a radio beacon (called Julian) and I was able to keep us on track and firly on target with the altitude ATC assigned us. We reached a spot of airspace where the clouds disappeared, but we were gone so long that we had to fly back.

Kevin then took out what's called an "Approach plate". It's a navigation chart that tells you how to fly an approach to a given runway and provided you follow it to the letter, you'll remain clear of all obstacles, mountains etc. Because we had to descend back through the clouds we flew an approach to Ramona airfield and wanted to do a touch and go. We studied the approach plate whilst still flying the plane and then got clearance to fly it from ATC. Once again, Captain Pender was at the controls and did a damn good job of it (even if I do say so myself) and brought us safely through the cloud. The only thing I should have done better was get the plane in better trim so I could fly headings and not worry about heights etc. But again I got a pat on the back from El Kevo for an outstanding piece of flying having ZERO hours flying instruments. I'm really starting to enjoy flying and like the gradual workload increase with the new challenges.

We chose not to do the touch and go at Ramona because time was ticking, so we flew in visual conditions back to Gillespie and I took her in for a landing. A little bit of a tailwind to deal with, but nicely done.

Saw a lovely jet taxi right by the school today, and also saw that dinky little plane that I was in the circuit with the other day. There's a photo of it in one of my previous posts. And there were 4 old WWII fighter planes that took off. They took off in twos flying in formation and then joined up in a four ship formation. Then they disappeared off the horizon. Will post a photo of them when I pull it from the camera.

Since there's no more flying for today, Matt, Jose and I are hanging out by the pool. We're sitting in the sunshine while our laundry gets washed and dried. I'm going to go for a swim now, but I'll keep you updated on the news. Think I'll try for my Meterology exam next.

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