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Thread: Flying and flight school

  1. #311
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    My instructor said that he has no problem sending me to an FAA check ride right now, so I'm really trying to focus on completing all of the requirements.

    I still have to fly the solo cross country flights. To do that, I need to take a check flight with a check instructor to make sure that I'm ready. Then my CFI will sign me off to fly them.

    I also have to fly a dual cross country flight at night and land 7 more times at night. That can be a fun flight, so I'm waiting for a really good night when we can hopefully end up landing at Midway airport at least once.

    I have about .5 hour remaining on flight by instruments, but I should be able to get that on the cross country check flight.

    And I still need 6 or 7 more hours of solo flight time; 5 of which has to be with solo cross country flying. (I have over 100 hours of total time.)

    Besides those things, I do need to practice some skills. I'm weakest with short field landings, so I need to practice those repetitively. That's probably the hardest skill to learn. I can perform everything else to the FAA standards at all times now. If you take a check ride with an examiner and land short of your chosen landing point on a short field landing, you instantly fail.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  2. #312
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    I flew my night cross country last Saturday night from Chicago Exec. to Porter County Regional in Valparaiso, IN. We flew down the lake shore around 8pm and it was cold and clear. The city was beautiful. We flew over Northwestern, right near Wigley (they had the lights on), and we saw the United Center as we passed the south Loop. The airspace was really crowded, but it's a lot easier to see traffic at night, so it wasn't tough dodging airliners and helicopters.

    When we got to Porter County, there was a guy on an IFR approach and much farther out. He was flying a Piper Meridian, which is a fast single engine turboprop. He heard our radio calls in the pattern and graciously gave us some room, knowing that he could overtake us.

    So now I have 5 night landings left out of the 10 that the FAA requires. I'll have to do one more night flight because of that. I enjoy flying at night, but landing is pretty nerve-wracking. People, including me, tend to round-out and flare for landing too high at night. My landing at Porter County was great but back home I flared about 5 feet too high and had to recover. I need some more practice.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  3. #313
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    I finally get to take my stage 3 check (out of 4) this weekend, if the weather is good. This test makes sure that I can fly a cross country flight before they sign off on my solo cross country flights. Once I get this done, I should be able to do my solo cross country flights and then practice for the FAA check ride. The next couple of months will be finishing up requirements and practicing. I'll have to take a mock check ride with the chief pilot at the school before I can go for the official check ride.

    Time to start studying again. I can't wait to be done. The weather has sucked for flying this winter, so I haven't had a lot of flight time.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  4. #314
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    I took my stage 3 (of 4) test yesterday and got through it well. It took nearly 5 hours. Passing it allows my instructor to endorse me for solo cross country flights.

    I now only have my solo cross country flights (5 hours worth) and 5 more night landings to accomplish and I'll have all of the FAA requirements completed. I might need 10 minutes or so of flight solely by instruments, but I'll have to check my log book to be sure.

    Then it's practice, practice, and more practice and study a bit before I can take a mock check ride with the chief pilot. If I get through that to his satisfaction, they'll send me to a Designated Pilot Examiner for the FAA check ride.

    I can finally see the light at the end of the long tunnel. I'm now able to do everything that a private pilot must do. I only need to polish up some skills and some of the obscure knowledge.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  5. #315
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    "obscure knowledge"! When it comes to moving through the air at 10,000 ft, is there any such thing?
    At the precipice, we change!
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  6. #316
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronny View Post
    "obscure knowledge"! When it comes to moving through the air at 10,000 ft, is there any such thing?
    There are books filled with knowledge that isn't easy to find, so there is some obscure stuff, yes. The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) are coupled in a book with the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and the book is not small. That book alone has some things that a pilot doesn't need to memorize but needs to be able to find.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  7. #317
    Very impressive, Jon.
    "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

  8. #318
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    I need to practice these today:



    They're really uncomfortable on a cold day, since the air is dense and you have to pitch up quite a bit to get the airplane to stall. I typically lose sight of the horizon at that attitude, so I'm looking to the sides and at the attitude indicator to make sure the wings are level. A low wing and a yawing moment could lead to a spin. Spins are not good. It takes a lot of concentration and effort to keep the "ball centered" and wings level so that the airplane is in coordinated flight. That means the nose is pointed towards the direction of flight and the tail is lined up with that direction.

    I don't like to do these alone, so I'm bringing an instructor. I have never spun an airplane. I have been instructed in the recovery technique, but I don't want my first accidental spin to be on my own.
    Last edited by Just Jon; 03-21-2017 at 01:31 PM.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  9. #319
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    So last Friday I spent hours preparing a plan for a short cross country flight from Chicago Executive Airport (PWK) to Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport in Janesville, WI (JVL). It was supposed to be my first solo cross country flight. I got up at 5:30am on Saturday and my instructor texted me at 6am that he was sick and couldn't make it. It was as perfect day for the flight! Fortunately, Sunday was cloudy but was similarly favorable, weather-wise. I got to the airport, got all my paperwork signed and authorized by my instructor (FAA red tape) and preflighted the airplane. All was good, including the engine startup, but then the radio was acting all goofy. It was transmitting on the standby frequency and stuck in transmit mode. I played with the mechanical transmit buttons on the yokes but that had no affect on the status. I couldn't get the radios to stop transmitting, so I set them to a frequency that wouldn't be heard. I troubleshooted everything I could think of. After a few minutes the radio would stop transmitting and appeared normal. But then if I switched from the comm. 1 radio to 2 or vice-versa, it would exhibit the stuck transmission problem again for a few minutes. I texted my instructor and we couldn't figure it out, so I had to shut down the engine. I didn't want to end up paying to run the damn engine for nothing. We got the dispatcher at the office to turn on her radio and I tried the radios with the engine off. The radios seemed to operate normally after I picked up the hand microphone and played with its push-to-talk switch first. I used my headset to talk to the dispatcher and all was well, but I sure as hell wasn't going to go flying with an iffy radio stack when I am required to have radios at my departure and destination airports. I didn't get to fly my cross country on either day. I'm the first guy in the airplane for the day, so I'm always the one to find the problems. I wonder how many times the last pilot broke something and didn't report it.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

  10. #320
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    Jen and I have to go to Lafayette, IN this weekend for a day. I'm going to try to fly us down there in the morning and have an instructor take the airplane back. We'll see if the weather cooperates. I want to use the pilot's license for trips like this. It's perfect, though expensive. It should only take a little over an hour to get there from our house. That's about 1/3 the time and it's way more fun than driving around Chicago and down 65. If we owned our own airplane, that trip could be done routinely.
    A mile of road takes you a mile. A mile of runway takes you anywhere.

    I have landed an airplane at: 3CK, PWK, UGN, DKB, ENW, RFD, DPA, 06C, JVL, MSN, VPZ, LAF

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