Thursday, June 28, 2007

100 hours!

Somewhere between Van Nuys airport and Riverside airport I officially passed the 100-hour mark. Ironically it was one of the least enjoyable flights of flight training, but I feel that the mark was a milestone. This particular session was focused on instrument approaches and once I returned to the Inland Empire, it was one approach after another. In real life this particular situation would never occur, but for sakes of training, it was necessary. I think it was the frustration of having to complete multiple tasks at once that affected me, plus having an instructor next to me criticizing every move I made. I enjoy the steps in making a successful approach, it’s just when making such an approach happens in consequential order and in a matter of 5 minutes after completing a previous approach seconds beforehand.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Airports I've flown into

I've inserted a link to a google maps rendition of all the airports I've flown into. Not too impressive, but slowly growing. Check it out if you're bored.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Well it's been awhile since I received my Multi Engine add-on, but I wanted to post about the experience of the checkride. The date I had my checkride was June 9, 2007. I felt surprisingly prepared, although it seemed awfully quick for learning a completely new airplane (Seminole).

I knew which examiner I was going to have about a couple of weeks beforehand. Other students gave their insights on how he was. From their experiences and what my instructor taught me, I felt pretty prepared.

I was the first to go before my partner, Jon. As soon as we arrived at the airport, the examiner was there and he was ready to go into one of the rooms and begin the oral section. We arrived early because he was able to be at the airport at an earlier time than previously scheduled. The oral went really well. The examiner, Tom, likes to give real life situations as test questions rather than ask specific standard test questions. I enjoyed that. It was almost like we were just discussing aviation amongst each other. It seemed to end really quickly after it began.

After preflighting the plane, he arrived and I seemed to be over prepared for the flight. He asked where I wanted to go for the maneuvers and I had usually flown over Lake Matthews to perform them. He seemed like he wanted to go over San Bernardino airport for the checkride, so I said that would be fine, even though I was unfamiliar with that location. I had my terminal area chart, which I didn't use, and all the frequencies necessary for the flight (San Bernardino CTAF, SoCal approach, etc.) and I even tried to get the weather brief, which he didn't want.

We took off and headed towards San Bernardino. I made sure I kept lower than the Class C airspace for Ontario. Once we were clear, which he let me know (surprised), we climbed to 6,000 feet and began the maneuvers. Every maneuver went really well and he seemed pretty laid back (kept his eye outside most of the time, and at me to make sure I wasn't looking solely at the instruments). While setting up for a maneuver I heard Expressjet coming into Ontario and then moments later saw them fly over us at about 1,000. It was an awesome sight, I think I even vocalized "awesome".

We did an emergency decent to San Bernardino on one engine and then set up for landing. The only mistake I made, which seemed pretty existential, was that when I added power because we were below glideslope, I added a lot from the operating engine which caused us to yaw a lot towards the dead engine. I forgot to correct accordingly and the plane was yawing all over the place. Tom said, "watch that rudder!" I corrected quickly, but I felt like I made a stupid mistake. Once we went around the pattern a few times we took off and he said I could relax and he would fly the rest of the way back to Riverside.

It seemed like I didn't pass (on my own standards) but I knew that he was satisfied with my flight. He flew the entire way back and landed, then taxied back. I was very happy I had passed. It was a lot easier than I had expected, but I think I was sufficient enough to demonstrate I could fly the twin. Good times though.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

IFR flights

Here are the flightaware shots of my flight from Sacramento to Paso Robles, and then from Paso Robles to Riverside. Being an IFR flight, it was the first time I flew a flight that showed up in flightaware.

Since the time building flights, I've been studying and flying the Seminole simulator. I also passed the Instrument written exam and the Instructor Instrument written exam. There are four more days until my checkride in the Seminole.