Friday, March 30, 2012

1st Cross Country

This week I had an early start for a cross country flight from KCHD to KTUS and back (Tucson International Airport).


Planning for this flight started the night before. I pulled out the sectional and determined some headings and distances. I arrived at the airport at 07:30L and started to pull the weather data. I then finished off the nav sheet. We then filed our VFR flight plan with 1-800-WX-BRIEF. Wow, what a service!


By 08:45L I was in the aircraft ready to start the flight. 


The plan was to fly CHD -> TUS -> RYN -> CHD. For the first leg to TUS we flew using dead reckoning. Had issues with radio on the way down, so we didn't bother filing for flight following. 


My first flight into an International Airport was just amazing (okay, I have flown once into EGNT which is international). KTUS is a hive of GA, Civil and Military traffic. 


After departing KTUS, we flew to RYN (8 miles west of TUS) and then onto KCHD. We filed VFR flight following with TUS DEP. Received this service all the way back to KCHD. Signed off with PHX APP once we had KCHD in sight.


Many lessons learnt during the flight. Work load was high especially on the radio. For my next flight, I know how to manage my kneeboard, charts etc more efficiently. I will also be more confident talking on the busy frequencies.


Selection of audio from the flight
TUS CLEARANCE DELIVERY audio
VFR FLIGHT FOLLOWING audio


Selection of photos from the flight



















Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tri-fold - Try-harder!

You can't accuse me of not being prepared for my first dual cross country. I had everything except the kitchen sink (that would have thrown off the weight and balance!).


I bought a tri-fold knee board back in 2000 but never used it. Thought I would check it out this week. To be honest, it was ditched during the taxi out. Everything just felt cluttered. I couldn't get full deflection on the control yoke. There was sufficient space for my E6B, pencil, student certificate and my flight plan. But that's it.


I found it easier to place the E6B in the side pocket near the primer. I then used a white A4 size clipboard with my nav log on one side and the appropriate sectional on the other side held on with a large paper clip. The airport taxi diagrams slotted in nicely behind the nav log. My pencil remained in my top pocket and the plotter slotted nicely underneath the sectional. I ended up using two maps for the flight. One was the Phoenix Terminal chart (for the departure) and the other was the Phoenix Sectional (covering airspace down to Tucson). The one not in use was placed n the back seat where I could easily reach when needed. A side note, having the sectionals folded correctly back on the ground at the flying school was important to help keep the time off the controls to a minimum during the flight.


Maybe, it's because I am tall, but I just can't see the tri-fold working out for me. I'm going to stick with the clip board for the next couple of flights. The tri-fold needs to try harder!


Compare the two pictures. I think I have well and truly spring cleaned my navigation tools.

Cross Country 1

DATE: 28th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288   
ROUTE: CHD -> KTUS -> KRYN -> CHD
DURATION: 2.5hrs Dual
LANDINGS: 3
TOTAL TIME: 27.7 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - 1st dual cross country.

Next Lesson - 1st April (2nd dual cross country)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

getmypplcast #005 / Night Flying

Audiocast



This audiocast covers my first Phoenix Class Bravo crossing at night! Flight lasted 1.7hrs. Route = CHD, KPHX Bravo transition, DVT, SDL, FFZ, IWA and back to CHD.

The Flight - 20th March 2012 / C172N N734HC 

Direct Link 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Solo 7

DATE: 26th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288   
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 0.9 hrs PiC
LANDINGS: 3
TOTAL TIME: 25.2 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Solo flight practising stalls and steep turns.

Next Lesson - 28th March (1st dual cross country)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Night Flying - Class Bravo transition

For many wannabe Pilots, there is a burning desire to transition bravo airspace across the top of a major international airport.


In 2010 I had the pleasure of sitting right seat in a C172 over the top of KSFO during the day (N84695 in the photo.




This week I had another chance, but this time I was in the left seat of a C172N . On Tuesday evening at 1915L, we departed 22R at CHD and proceeded to climb west to 3500'. At that point we called Phoenix Approach on 123.7Mhz with the transition request. 


http://www.upload-mp3.com/files/339116_fznop/Bravo%20RT.mp3


The Bravo transition was approved.




video




On the other side of the bravo we descending into Deer Valley for a touch and go. For the rest of the flight we flew to SDL, FFZ, IWA and back to CHD. I will release the audio from the cockpit soon.





Lesson 20 - First Night Flight

DATE: 20th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172N N734HC   
ROUTE: CHD -> Class Bravo -> DVT -> SDL -> FFZ -> IWA -> CHD
DURATION: 1.7 hrs
LANDINGS: 5
TOTAL TIME: 25.3 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - First night flight. Departed 22R and climbed through class Bravo to 5500 MSL. Touch and go at DVT. Taxi back at SDL. Transition through FFZ and a stop and go at IWA before returning back to CHD for circuits.

Next Lesson - 28th March.

Lesson 19

DATE: 19th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288   
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.0 hrs
LANDINGS: 7
TOTAL TIME: 23.6 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - VOR navigation using the Phoenix, Willie and Standfield VOR's.

Next Lesson - 20th March.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lesson 18 - Stage 2 Check

DATE: 18th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288   
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.4 hrs
LANDINGS: 3
TOTAL TIME: 22.6 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - Stage 2 check with the Chief instructor. A Pacific storm was passing through so we pretty much had the airspace to ourselves. We flew south and climbed to 4700'MSL to check out the cloud base level. 

Next Lesson - 19th March.

Monday, March 12, 2012

KIWA Open House

On Saturday I had the chance to visit an open house day at Phoenix Mesa Gateway airport (KIWA).

What struck me the most was the fact there were no barriers around the aircraft. Back in the U.K. you are allowed nowhere near the aircraft.


I spent a couple of hours walking around the aircraft, talking with the pilots and taking several photo's.


I was then treated to several of the aircraft starting their engines and departing on one of the northerly runways.


There were a wide range of helicopters, civil owned aircraft and military aircraft. All in all, it was just another great aviation day out in Arizona.












Time for relfection

I have managed to accumulate over 20 hours of flight training since early January. I have my stage 2 stage check on Sunday. After that, I will be on the last leg of my flight training. With transferring my hours from Ireland, I have met the total flight hour requirements already, but I still need to close out on some FAA requirements;
  1. Night flight hours.
  2. Solo cross country hours.
  3. Written test.
  4. Oral and flight test
Flying over the last 9 weeks has made me a better pilot. I have now flown 4.2 hours PiC over 6 solo flights. Flying in the US has made me realise how disjointed my flight training in Ireland was. Not the fault of the flying school, but rather the fact that I stopped my flight training every few hours. I wasn't able to get any traction on regular hours.


I have been nothing but impressed with Chandler Air Service at KCHD. My instructor has been great and the aircraft have always been available.


The final part of my training is going to be amazing. I have some night flights coming up shortly followed by several hours cross country. I can't express how excited I am about starting the cross country part of the training.


It's now time to hit the books and work towards that written test in early April. I am targeting a mid to April end completion date.








Solo 6

DATE: 12th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288   
ROUTE: CHD 
DURATION: 1.0 hrs PiC
LANDINGS: 6
TOTAL TIME: 21.2 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Solo Short and Soft field procedures. 6 landings in total.

Next Lesson - 18th March (stage 2 stage check)

Lesson 17


DATE: 11th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288   
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.2 hrs
LANDINGS: 5
TOTAL TIME: 20.2 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - Stage 2 practice in the southern practice area. Returned to the airport for soft and short field landings.

Next Lesson - 12th March.

Lesson 16

DATE: 10th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172N N734HC   
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.2 hrs
LANDINGS: 3
TOTAL TIME: 19.0 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - Stage 2 practice in the souther practice area. Return to the airport for a couple of soft field landings.

Next Lesson - 11th March.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

getmyppl audiocast #004 / Solo Short and Soft


Link to MP3 File - getmypplcast #004

I am sharing the audio from soft and short field solo flight which took place early Friday evening. First you will hear the taxi out up until the first take off. After the beep, you will hear my final circuit.

The Flight - 9th March 2012 / C172N N734HC / CHD / Solo Flight

Flight Details - My fifth solo. Practised soft and short field procedures. Another 0.8hrs PiC added in the logbook.


Solo 5

DATE: 9th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172N N734HC   
ROUTE: CHD 
DURATION: 0.8 hrs PiC
LANDINGS: 3
TOTAL TIME: 17.8 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Solo Short and Soft field procedures. Slight cross wind. 4 landings in total.

Next Lesson - 10th March.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lesson 13, 14 and 15

DATE: 3rd, 5th and 7th March 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172N N734HC   
ROUTE: CHD 
DURATION: 3.4 hrs
LANDINGS: 24!
TOTAL TIME: 17.0 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - Introduction to soft and short field procedures. 7th March was supposed to be solo, but the wind was gusting from the west, therefore I practised crosswind landings with my instructor.

Next Lesson - 9th March.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Plans for March

March is upon us already. I have managed a little over 14 hours flight training since commencing my training in January. It is now time to step it up a gear.


I had a meeting with my instructor this week. I told him I want to target my checkride for April end. That means I need to fly minimum 2 to 3 times a week through March. I also need to study hard and be in a position to take the written test early April. 


I have been able to xfer my 40 JAA hours towards my FAA license. This means I have technically met the total hours needed, but I do need to close out on the solo cross country and night flight requirements. I am not saying I am ready for my checkride (far from it), but if I study hard and fly as much as I can, it will be possible to close out my license before May. I have a personal goal to meet, hence why I am giving myself this deadline.


March is going to be a great month. Time to hit the books and the skies.

Solo 4

DATE: 28th February 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288  
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 0.8 hour PiC
LANDINGS: 1
TOTAL TIME: 14.4 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - Solo flight. Departed 22R, south departure. Practised ground reference manoeuvres.

Key Learnings - Another great solo flight. Southern practise area very busy. Had to work hard to find clear airspace. 


Next Lesson - 3rd March.

Lesson 12

DATE: 25th February 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288  
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.1 hour
LANDINGS: 1
TOTAL TIME: 13.6 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)


Lesson Summary - Practised ground reference manoeuvres; rectangular pattern, s turns and turning around a point. An additional 0.2hr under the hood with unusual attitude recovery.

Next Lesson - 28th February.