Monday, July 06, 2009

Current Again!!

Tonight I scheduled flight time with fellow club member CFI Dan. Dan agreed to ride along in order for me to knock out at least three landings and to once again be current. Basically as stated in Sec. 61.57 Recent flight experience (and I'm only quoting a portion of the section here)

Pilot in command.

(a) General experience.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, no person may act as a pilot in command of an aircraft carrying passengers or of an aircraft certificated for more than one pilot flight crew member unless that person has made at least three takeoffs and three landings within the preceding 90 days........

I pre-flighted 679er taking my time to get back in touch with my normal routine. I guess it's like riding a bike, you don't really forget although the consequences of missing a problem on the ground can potentially cost you more then a banged up knee and some Bactine spray. When Dan arrived he performed his own pre-flight which I thought was a pretty good idea, he doesn't know me from the man on the moon, why would he trust me. I did tell him he was the last to fly the plane and the fuel sumps I performed were clean and water free. Once Dan climbed in we chatted a bit about 679er and then I started my remaining pre-flight/start up procedures. It all came back as I went through my checklists item by item.

Exterior Preflight -- COMPLETE.
Tach/Hobbs Meter – RECORD.
Seats, Belts -- ADJUST & LOCKED.

Radios & Electrical Equipment -- OFF.
Parking Brake -- SET.
Carburetor Heat -- OFF
Fuel Selector –- SET TO DESIRED TANK.
Throttle –- OPEN ¼ INCH.
Master Switch –- ON
Electric Fuel Pump –- ON.
Mixture –- RICH.

679er springs to life and seems ready to go. All gauges in the green, waiting for oil temps and I make my call to Wilmington Ground requesting taxi clearance for pattern work providing current information Yankee. Winds were jumping around and I ended up taking runway one niner with a slight tailwind. I readjusted my mental note and launch marker so I had room to abort if needed. I completed the run up and off we went for some scrape off the rust time. I climbed out and was directed by the tower to enter a left downwind for three two , Hmmmm that's a quick change but ok, I acknowledged. I was crossing the numbers pretty much as I launched off of one nine but ok left turn to downwind and time to set up for landing. I was high turning base and high on final when the tower asked me to turn out for inbound jet traffic landing on runway one. An immediate right turn out 360* back to final.

Ok, I don't mind getting back on the horse but gezzz not something that bucks right out of the chute. I am once again high on short final and need to lose some altitude. I slowly pull the power add in a last notch of flaps for landing and Dan asks do I want to go around, I said no I can work with this and will go around if I don't like what I see as we work our way down. He asked for 60 knots so we could brick on in, I don't like holding the nose high blocking my full runway view. I did What I would normally do and slipped in. 679er came in like a rock and I just passed the numbers as I landed but had some speed so I slowed down and taxied off for another go.

Yikes, round one was exciting, let's see if we can make this as uneventful as we can. Rounds two and three were more "normal" although I seemed to be way to fast on the downwind. Dan mentioned the 90-80-70 rule for pattern work in the Archer. Round four I was pretty much on the money. I had to pace myself with opposite traffic turning on a right base making me number two for landing. I was trimmed for 90, added approach flaps and settled right in at 80 knots, turned base adding a second notch of flaps and kept the nose lowered and sat the airspeed on 70 knots. Nice, short final I added the last notch of flaps sat the airspeed on 65 and greased one. All of my landings were really nice and on center, I just needed to get my pattern speed under control.

I logged .9 and made four landings, Dan went around a few times for .4 and I think maybe two or three landings. He really keeps a nice tight pattern, and is very smooth. I was happy with my last trip around the patch but I could use a bit more practice. It sure felt great flying 679er once again, I think we'll spend some additional quality time together Wednesday.


Unknown said...

All right Gary! Welcome back to the sky.

Gary said...

Thanks! I sure have missed it.

Steve said...

Awesome, you're back!

Sorry I've been lacking in the commenting lately - been on vacation and otherwise occupied with the new house. I really am glad to see you've made such progress and are back flying again.