Saturday, April 16, 2011

300 Nautical Mile Cross country now in the book even though managed nearly 500nm and 6 hours flying

Today was a good day.
A long day but a good one. I started out at Tamiami airport (KTMB) with a friend along for the ride, south of Miami and flew under the approach/departure path for Miami International flying at 1000ft up the coast of South Beach until I was passed the control area and then popped to 4500ft at Fort Lauderdale to get radar flight following service all the way up to Ormond beach, some 250NM north.
There were some amazing sights as we over and over flew the international airports as they came and went, from Fort Lauderdale, West Palm beach and eventually Daytona.
The main thing about doing this kind of flying is how exact you have to be, if the controller assigns you an altitude and course, you stick to it like glue. Not 300ft above or stray a few degrees east or west as I found out at one point for losing 300ft and getting reminded by ATC for not advising them that I was descending to dodge a cloud.
It was an interesting first leg, seeing the enormous mansions along the wealthiest piece of coast on this side of the USA, the radio work was taxing and I felt I dealt with it ok and enjoyed the challenge of it.
To top it off we got to pass the space coast and see the enormous runway for the shuttle to land and also the tower which secures the rocket for take off, a truly impressive sight at the scale of it all.
after getting vectored around the restricted area near the space coast we were back in the coast line and then looking for Ormond beach (KOMN) and organizing the arrival and landing. Its an airport I have spent a lot of time at with my ground studies but I have never flown in or out. There was an added twist of a 22 knot cross wind..... I just love those in this little plane I have been flying. We managed to get down with a little more grace than the last time I had a cross wind landing. 250nm done and nearly 3 hours in the bag for the first flight.
A quick re-fuel we were off again and this time heading south to get to Okeechobee (KOBE) as my pal Darrell has been telling me that the restaurant there is awesome. The pair of us were getting very hungry so decided to head down there for the next leg next to the enormous lake there for some food..... or so we thought. We climbed out of KOMN and we were directed through the overhead of Daytona International and had planes taking off and landing underneath us, we were battling a head wind all the way and even managed to see the private airfield where John Travolta has his collection of planes and huge house.
After 123 NM south which took 1hour 40 mins due to the honking headwind we landed at the un controlled airport next the lake using the UNICOM radio to talk to other planes, landed and parked up.
We arrived at the restaurant at 3:01PM to be told by the waitress that the kitchen closed at 3pm. I laughed, it couldn't be true !!! 2 Starving men, 4 hours of flying and not a chicken wing to share. GUTTED.
We ended up with a few biscuits from the pilots lounge and a soda. The promise of a nice lunch that I had been banging on about all morning had been snatched away from us at literally the last minute.
With our tales between ours legs it was back in the plane and time to head south and for home, with a tour around Lake Okeechobee and a pretty featureless final leg down through the dead centre of Florida and straight into Tamiami airport on runway 13.
3 landings, 3 take offs, nearly 6 hours in the book and 500NM covered but no lunch.






Must do better next time and call ahead for a reservation.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Change

By the way I have decided upon a change of layout for the blog, I am not sure if anyone actually reads this blog but if anyone does and there are any suggestions I am always open to ideas suggestions and welcome any comments.....
Stu

Whether the Weather be fine or whether the weather be not....

As a part of my day job I was about to head off to North Carolina tomorrow for a long long cross country flight to North Carolina in the morning to photograph at really nice feature/story but the weather is against us with huge storms on their way in over North and South Carolina so it will be put off for another day.
Not to let the weather ruin the day though,  I'm going to head out with my pal Blake and maybe head up to Daytona up the coast, but will check out the weather in the morning and see what looks good.
Hopefully it will be bright and sunny across Florida and I can get my 300 Nautical mile qualifying cross country done where I have to stop off a 2 other airports.
I will pray to the weather gods tonight and hopefully will have some nice pictures tomorrow.....

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Navigation.......

So Nav....
It's the new Met, I thought I knew my way around a compass and map, but........
This is a really tough one, the problem here is that there are so many variables which go into each question, one error on one of them and and the whole thing falls apart.
I am currently putting in between 4 and 5 hours per day on this subject and the clock really is ticking as we count down to the exams in May.
I have been through the questions on Principles of Flight and am getting average scores, so it will still need a lot of work before the exams, its such a wordy subject and really not that interesting. Where as Navigation is a lot more hands on and has many techniques to learn, its quite interesting as I learning new skills, but its taking a whole lot of time, and I am not sure I have enough of it before the date marked with a big red X on the calendar.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I just saw this accident online which happened last night:

I just saw this online which happened last night, amazing footage looks like child sized models being played with not a 600 Ton A380 Airbus, worth watching:

http://youtu.be/fMKGv3KFqKo

Monday, April 11, 2011

Principles of Flight..... i think i would prefer to be studying the bus stops of the eastern block....

Principles of flight, I have discovered is not exactly the most interesting of subjects to study, I will post a few sample questions so that you get the idea:


Question: Positive static longitudinal stability means that a: ???


Question: The airload on the horizontal tailplane (tailload) of an aeroplane in straight and level cruise flight:


Question: Which of the following statements is correct? I. A high limit load factor enables the manufacturer to design for a lower stick force per g. II. The stick force per g is a limitation on the use of an aeroplane, which the pilot should determine from the Aeroplane Flight Manual.


I think that the real test of this subject is managing to keep your eyes open and heart beating long enough to get to the exam room. 
The study for this final set of exams is going really quite slowly, I haven't managed to get into Navigation yet and that is the biggie as far as this set is concerned. I am trying to wade my way through this nonsense and also do my day job, which is proving quite tricky at the moment, if that continues then I might be forced to delay one or two these exams until the next round of exams in July, as I am feeling bery under prepared 5 weeks out, but I will just wait and see for the moment. 
I have also booked up to do my Class 1 medical at the CAA when I am there next, which I hope isn't going to be as much fun and games as it was getting my Class 2 done, which is what prompted me to start writing the blog all those months ago.
In my last posting I put a video of the approach and landing into St Barts, I have added to this posting what it looks like from the middle of short final........

London's calling..... London's calling.....

Well, where are we......? I was reminded at the weekend that I hadn't done my blog in a while, (thank you Gruff) so I have sat myself d...