Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Constructive Criticism or Negative Attitude?

I am trying to critique my performance after every flight. I don't know if I am being too harsh on myself. 

This week I started to record the audio from the cockpit. Listening back has made me realise that I am forgetting key information about the manoeuvres I am supposed to be flying. As a result of this, I sat down this evening and listened to the  entire hour of the recorded audio. I made bullet point notes for each manoeuvre performed during the up and coming stage 1 check ride. 

When I recommenced my JAA training back in Ireland in July, I had a much more positive attitude towards reviewing my lessons.

Maybe it's time to focus more on the positive? Let the fact I made these notes today be the start of a more positive attitude towards analysing my performance. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lesson 9

DATE: 30th January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288  
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 8.4 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Departed 22R for the south training area. Ran through the required items for the stage 1 checkride. Back to the circuit for 2 touch and goes with simulated engine failure on the downwind.

Key Learnings - Judged the approach profile better on the simulated engine failures. Need to revise the emergency checklists. For a real life engine failure, will need to find a spot and stick with it. Quick thinking needed on determining the approach path. For the power off stalls, I was allowing the nose to drop too far. Need to focus on the climb out profile post the stall recovery (first notch of flap as soon as the VSI deflects).

FAA Class 3 Medical

Today I visited a local FAA Medical Examiner. I have to admit, it's much easier to obtain an FAA medical endorsement compared to one from the JAA.

Next up will be my stage 1 check ride. All going well, I should solo in the next week.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lesson 8

DATE: 28th January 2012
ROUTE: Circuits at CHD
DURATION: 1.0 hour
TOTAL TIME: 7.3 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Wind 340/9kts. Circuits on 04L. Normal and glide approaches.

Key Learnings - 8 landings in the one hour. Good confidence builder with the 90deg cross wind. Screwed up a few radio calls but it didn't take away from flying the aircraft at all times. Good experience learning about the longer crosswind leg and  shorter base due to the wind direction and strength. Put the flaps in too early on one of the glide approaches which would have meant not making the runway in real life. With the stronger wind, was able to correct for speed and altitude at various points in the circuit.

liveATC Audio - http://tinyurl.com/872hkvn

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Obama visit

#POTUS visited my work Wednesday, however my attempt at capturing a decent photo of AF1 failed.

Obama departed KIWA at 1900L on runway 30R. This was too far away for my cheap camera to capture any decent image.

Here are a couple of photographs that I snapped at various points throughout the day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lesson 7

DATE: 24th January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288 
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 6.3 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Departed 22R. Climbed at V = 75/80/90kts.  Simulated engine fail. Nailed the approach. Ground reference manoeuvres. S turns. Turning around a point. Two more simulated engine fails. Back to CHD for Touch and Go's on 22L. Switched to 22R for the final landing.

Key Learnings - Confidence grew after nailing the first simulated engine fail. On the next one, took too long choosing a suitable landing area. Struggled to understand the purpose of the ground reference manoeuvres at first. S turns and turning around a point were easier to comprehend. Slight cross wind on approach. Nailed 2/3 landings.

liveATC Audio - http://tinyurl.com/6vwfdpq

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grounded by a TFR........

Due to fly Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday this week. However, the FAA has decided to post a TFR for Wednesday in the Phoenix area which will prevent me from flying. No it's not because of my landing's, but due to the fact there is a VIP in town.

This TFR may give me the opportunity to see AF1 for the first time ever. The airspace around KIWA and KCHD appears to be in lock down Wednesday evening. From the NOTAM information, I think #POTUS will be flying in and out of KIWA. In addition, it's a chance to see the support aircraft that follows  #POTUS.

Based on the following statement in the TFR text, I definitely won't be flying Wednesday!

C. The following operations are not authorized within this TFR: flight training, practice instrument approaches, aerobatic flight, glider operations, seaplane operations, parachute operations, ultralight, hang gliding, balloon operations, agriculture/crop dusting, animal population control flight operations, banner towing operations, sightseeing operations, maintenance test flights, model aircraft operations, model rocketry, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and utility and pipeline survey operations. 

Italic text and image courtesy of the FAA TFR website

Lesson 6

DATE: 21st January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288 
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.0 hour
TOTAL TIME: 5.2 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Departed 22R. Climbed to 4000'. Foggle work including unusual attitude recovery (great fun!!). Then circuit work on 22L. Switched to 22R due to traffic. Switching circuits meant dealing with different drift angles (LH and RH patterns).

Key Learnings - Unusual attitude recovery is great fun. 3/5 good landings. Lost the picture on the last two (tiredness?). Great experience having to switch runways. Switching circuits meant dealing with different drift angles (LH and RH patterns). Transition between downwind and base much better. Had the confidence to tighten up the circuit pattern. Need to remain focused on what control inputs are needed to land on the centre line.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lesson 5

DATE: 18th January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288 
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.0 hour
TOTAL TIME: 4.2 hours (+ 45.5 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Departed 22R. Climbed at V = 75/80/90kts.  Power on followed by power off stall. Slow flight involving slow turns and climbs. Then accelerated stalls in a 45deg bank.  Headed back to CHD for 4 touch and goes on 22L and a full stop. 

Key Learnings - More confident with the stalls and slow flight hence why I executed them better. The accelerated stalls really showed how docile the aircraft can be. 1 good, 3 ok and 2 poor landings. Need to focus on control inputs needed to achieve 80kts, 2250' on the downwind. Taught new method for transitioning into the decent once abeam the numbers.  Better awareness of the circuit status today (parallel runway and other traffic).

liveATC Audio - http://tinyurl.com/74hh7dj

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lesson 4

DATE: 17th January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288 
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 1.0 hour
TOTAL TIME: 3.2 hours (+ 40.0 JAA)

Lesson Summary - Departed 22R. Power off and on stall. Steep turns. Simulated Emergency Landings. Banked stall. Touch and Go. More confident with the stalls today. Wind was calm but shifted direction a couple of times. 

Key Learning - Pay attention to departure headings. Fly runway heading means runway heading. Do not allow the wind to cause the aircraft to drift towards the center line of the other runway. Both approaches high. This was a common problem in Ireland. Need to sort out in the next lesson.

liveATC Audio - http://tinyurl.com/7o9r7cu

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lesson 3

DATE: 14th January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288 
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 0.9 hour

Lesson Summary - Reviewed slow flight, steep turns and stalls (power off, power on, banked stalls). Long final to 04L. Great landing. 

Key Learning - Not focused whilst setting for the approach. Lined up on 04R instead of 04L. Had to be corrected by the instructor. Need to listen out to all radio calls. Incorrectly acknowledged a landing clearance for another aircraft. Lost awareness that an aircraft was landing 04R whilst I was landing 04L.

liveATC Audio - http://tinyurl.com/726e2fm

Lesson 2

DATE: 10th January 2012
ROUTE: CHD -> {Southern Training Area} -> CHD
DURATION: 0.3 hour

Lesson Summary - Supposed to fly to the training area for stalls, turns etc however the take off was aborted due to a stuck magneto. Aircraft towed away to the hangar for repair.

Key Learning - Power low on the take off run. Showed good airmanship to abort the take off.

liveATC Audiohttp://tinyurl.com/7nrop4m

Lesson 1

DATE: 7th January 2012
AIRCRAFT: C172P N54288
ROUTE: CHD -> CGZ -> A39 -> CHD
DURATION: 1.0 hour

Lesson Summary - First FAA lesson. Chance for the instructor to gauge my previous experience from Europe. Departed runway 22R and flew touch and goes at CGZ and A39 before heading back to CHD. Landed 22L at CHD. Slight cross winds on all approaches. Required right aileron and left rudder.

Key Learning - Flying in Arizona is fun! Set the trim to Take Off and not neutral.

liveatc.net Audiohttp://tinyurl.com/7hauypu 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Flight.......................

First week was amazing and eventful. I have flown twice although the second lesson was aborted during the take off roll! Hadn't flown since November. Was great to get back up in the air.

I plan to summarise each week via a short podcast. Hoping for the first one to be released this weekend after my first three flights.

In the mean time, check out some of the ATC audio courtesy of liveatc.net 

ATC Audio

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Lesson Booked

First FAA lesson is booked for Saturday 7th January.

Hear my first lesson on liveatc.net from 4pm UTC http://www.liveatc.net/search/?icao=kchd

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Road Trip...........

My family and I took a road trip to Vegas for a couple of days before New Year. 

Being an #AvGeek, I had to take the opportunity to check out a couple of places during the trip. Since 9/11, I am conscious about hanging around airport fences with a camera. However, I was able to take a couple of photo's at two locations.

Vegas was amazing. A buzz of airline, biz jet and helicopter traffic. 

skyvector.com came in handy again to help me figure out the local airspace around Vegas. 

KLAS Executive Terminal

KIGM Kingman Aviation Bone Yard