Thursday, September 21, 2006

This landing thing is easy

Well, today was a great day!!! Weather was lovely and I got a lot of landings and about 3 hours in today. It was also an interesting day as far as life in a flying school goes and there were a few new visitors insofar as exotic aircraft are concerned.

I'm sitting my Air Law exam tomorrow for sure. Spent the non-flying day revising and sitting mock exams and feel more at ease about the potential questions and answers.

So the exciting part of today was the visit from the FAA. They often pay surprise visits to schools and ours is no exception. Of course, everyone in the club gets nervous around the FAA inspectors. They are the equivilant of God when it comes to being allowed to fly or not. But it seems everything was OK.

I flew a new steed today, a lovely newish C-172 called "Golf Foxtrot". She has leather seats and a spanking new GPS in the cockpit. The only downside to using her was the fact that the comms (radios to you uninitiated) work differently and took a little getting used to. But she felt nice to fly, but I was put off a little bit when Kevin told me that he didn't like her much because he could never land her as smoothly as good old "Zulu Papa". But I had a smooth flight in "Golf Foxtrot".

Oh, and I also managed to get the slow-flight manouevres down too. It took about 4 goes, the last two being the ones that nailed it. Let me see now, what else did we do? So more airwork and of course some touch and goes.

I've also got my "radio voice". I was joking with Kevin about it in the air and he laughed and told me he'd noticed. He complimented me on it and told me that he has several...for instance, he's got the one he uses when we fly, but also a really DEEEEEPPP one he uses when he's flying alone, late at night with bad weather. He showed me what it sounds like and he sounded quite something out of a Hollywood Top Gun movie.

We landed and had lunch at the cafeteria. The cafe is fun, nothing to do with the fact that two of the waitresses there got their breasts done (incidentally, at the same time) and are quite cute. But it's also right beside our school, looks over the runways and has tables outside where we can watch the world fly by. We saw some exotic planes today....a Huey helicopter (the ones they flew in Vietnam) being used as a forest fire fighting aircraft. It's got a big hose on the side which sucks up about 400 litres of water in 60 seconds. Here's a picture of it. The hose is the funny thing in red there.

There were also a few sexy jets and some old WWII fighters. I've taken some pics and will download them from the camera soon.

The afternoon brought with it some fun. Kevin taught me more on specific flapless landings, landings with loss of engine power, short field landings and soft field landings (like grass runways) and some more about losing height quickly. We also did some training on short field take-offs. That's when the plane takes off quickly but builds up speed along the ground. Then all of a sudden you pop the nose up high and tear up into the air. It's like a fun roller coaster ride. Oh, which reminds me...Jose brought us up for a jaunt, but more of that later. I continued with my circuits and landings and Matt said they looked fantastic from where he was watching. but the icing on the cake came from Kevin. He said he was amazed at how quick I'd got everything nailed in only a handful of hours. He said I've done in about 8-9 hours what it takes most people to master after 20-30 hours!!! His debrief after the flight was great....essentially I am way ahead of schedule. We'll focus on take-offs, practiced forced landings and short-field operations next.

Here's a pic Matt took of me you can see, very stable and looking good.

I was also flying in the circuit with this strange looking contraption this evening too.

When I finished my debrief with Kevin, Matt came to get me as we were both planning to fly up to Santa Monica with Jose for dinner. But the weather wasn't great and since Jose hadn't filed a flight plan we had to turn back. But on the way Jose showed us what Zero G feels like. It's a bit like this doggy....

We landed at night at Gillespie, which was Matt's first. We had a great time all in all. I was saying the Matt that this has got to be right up there with "Best Holidays Ever" and he agreed. We're not looking forward to the day we need to go home.

Tomorrow is Air Law day and I'm scheduled to fly 6 hours. Better get some shut eye.

No comments: