Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gulfstream IV Adventures

What a GREAT day today!!!!

I think my solo flight and checkride perma-grin is back! I had the opportunity today to fly in the Gulfstream IV flight sim for an hour. I started off with a taxi test which I did just fine then everything was reset for a departure from JFK. I was there to fly so I was lucky not to have all the checklists and communications to deal with. I was rolling (without the full motion on) and rotated about 175 kts with a nice climb out over the ocean. As soon as I confirmed positive climb I took out the flaps and tucked the gear away. I maintained a VFR flight as I headed back over New York at 10,000. The sim was reset for a 6 mile final daytime. At 220kts I asked for the first notch of flaps then around 180 the second a got a warning light for gear. I was told gear before the second flap setting. OK, gear down with three in the green. My speed was a bit fast as I had to muscle that thing, good lord it was like driving a tank. I was told there is plenty of runway, don’t force it. I crossed the numbers held the nose high listening to this thing squawk out altitude. Finally the mains were down and I was pushing the nose over. I brought the Thrust Reversers (TR)in and wow do they add the stopping power. Once below 60kts I added brakes and taxied clear. Round two was a night departure and landing from JFK that was much smoother.

I was then reset for KILG, Wilmington, DE my home airport. This time he felt I could handle full motion. I cracked the guys up with a short field take off…..laying on the toe breaks as I brought the power up. The full motion now activated actually pushed you back into the seat a bit. I felt every bump in the runway. Once airborne I pointed towards KPHL and held at 2800 feet. My first try at KILG for a daytime landing had me low and slow crossing the fence and hitting on the numbers with the mains. I had a slight crosswind tossed at me and planted the left main down first followed by the right then nosed over and rolled out. TR's now engaged. I was slowing down with slight brakes at the 1000 foot marker. I made a nice turn off to the taxiway. The full motion was wild, you could feel the gear cycle through and as the mains touched down you could feel the vibration on roll out. The best was the buffeting when the flaps were added. I then did a night time take off and landing at KILG.

The last trip was from Hawaii! I took off from PHNL runway 8R and was looking at some mountains. He said please don’t crash the sim, and I didn’t! The instructor thought I did very well and decided to throw a thunder boomer at me along with heavy rain. Greaaaat, just what I needed. I told him I was working on the ground portion of my IR and was excited about getting hood time. He said you can experience actual conditions here and then we really had some fun. We were talking about systems and such as I thought he was trying to distract me (checkride memories). Sure enough I thought I was straight and level but a scan of my instruments revealed I was slowly fading off to my right. He kept talking and I went on instruments and got squared away with little altitude loss. He commented on my quick recovery. He warned me how fast people loose it in those conditions and advised me to continue with my IR, it will make me a better pilot.

All in all, a GREAT time. It was a great experience and I was very thankful I had the chance. I treated for lunch and that too was well worth it!!

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