Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Starters, Study and storms.....(oh yes and a slight emergency)

Today brought a great cloud formation off the end of runway 03

Today is a slightly frustrating day as so happens in general aviation we can be sitting here on the ground instead of enjoying the sights from 3000ft. The starter motor on the Socata TB10 I am currently teaching in with the owners, is not very well and we are awaiting a new one, this has delayed progress in the training for a few days and everyone is itching to get in the air make progress towards the end of the course. The most frustrating part is when we can see other pilots jumping in their planes and then coming back with those smiles on their faces that only pilots know about........

This is the view in front of my new home where I have moved slightly closer to the airport
I have now moved house near the huge lakes of the Charente and its a gorgeous area and we now have beaches within a 5 minute walk of home. Roll on summer, if its ever going to show itself
The cockpit of the TB10
 The TB10 is classed as a complex plane as it has a variable pitch propeller, it also has lots of great instrumentation inside it too. Its a great touring aircraft, extremely comfortable, but not exactly the ideal PPL trainer with the higher work load and is a lot less maneuverable than the Robin Dr400 which is perfect for training but not exactly classed as a touring plane.
Home next to the lakes

The TB10 along side the club Robins here at Limoges
 During the course of a few flights this passed week we suffered what I would class as my first emergency whilst teaching. Upon leaving on the 2nd leg of a navigation flight, departing from Nantes we had an alternator failure after about 20mins of flight and the battery power had already started to diminish pretty rapidly, to the point where we could see the indicator dropping in front of our eyes. The only choice was to call the departure airfield, let them know, tell them we were about to lose all of our electrics and ask for a direct route back in. The controllers were great, even though there were some big old Easy Jet flights about to line up for final the moved things around to get us straight in and cleared us to land whilst we still had some battery juice. Standard procedures standing we cut off all non essential electrical items on the plane and hot footed it back in to the airfield. As we touched down it was quite visible how seriously this was being taken, and rightfully so that all of the fire engines from the airport were joining us and following us down the runway.
Safely into the parking area at Nantes, and a few deep breaths, and I was able to inform the fire brigade all is well. We were really fortunate in that the local club has a mechanic who was able to help straight away and found that one of the small electrical wires attached to the alternator had broken in flight and this was the reason for the failure, upon hearing this I found myself looking to the sky as that could very easily have ended in a fire.......
Upon reflection now I am writing this after the dust of the incident has settled it makes me very pleased that I had a very good Commercial Pilot instructor in Matthew Adams at EFT in Florida as the old saying goes, training kicks in and you get the job done. So a big thankyou Matthew.
Home, back at base after a slight emergency diversion
Fingers being crossed the TB10 will be up and running in no time and we will be getting some serious flying done.
In the mean time I have also started the study I have to do for my Instrument rating that I am hoping to do the flight tests for in the winter, so I have my study head back on......busy busy busy

A pretty big week of flying with some centreline hopscotch.....

Hours flown this month(FEB): 33 Landings: 8 Countries visited: 5  Continents visited: 3  Quick iron of the shirt and in th...