Monday, November 12, 2018

Breakfast Meet Up

Les G  from the Beech Aero Club sent me a private message on the club web page to let me know he would be shooting some approaches into OXB on Sunday. This sounded like a great chance to catch up and see his freshly painted Sundowner and the new interior.
The plan was to meet at 10:30, this would work out just right. I had swapped text messages with a young man who was interested in our 98 Ranger pick up. Mary and I needed to go through our decorations that we keep stored in the hangar so we planned to meet the potential buyer at 9:30.

It's now 10:30

As Les was landing the young man and his father pulled up to the hangar.  By this time I had reconnected the trickle charger and was closing the hangar door. You guessed it, I had built up a bit of attitude having to wait and now reopen and unhook everything while getting around on a cane. I was getting tired and I was absolutely getting irritable.

I gave the young man the keys and told him look it over and test drive it around the hangars, we had to pick up the pilot that just landed, we'll be right back.  Yes, he is familiar with airport ops and driving on the airfield.
Mary and I drove up to meet Les and admire his Sundowner. 08Lima was beautiful! Fresh paint, new interior and a new avionics panel full of goodies. Honestly, it tugged at my heart just putting my hand on the cowling, I miss 08Romeo. Les jumped in the SUV and we headed back to the hangar to finish up the truck deal, or so I thought.

I should have been thankful that he pulled the truck back in the hangar even though it was not backed in (how he found it when he got in) so it could be reconnected to the charger and that he was trying to close up my hangar. Unfortunately neither gesture erased the fact that he was an hour late showing up and that I was now dealing with pain in my leg and ankle. I got out and asked him to stop closing the door, that I would button up.  While he and his dad talked I opened the door, repositioned the truck, hooked up the charger and then we talked.

The offer was just under my minimum for the truck, and that was ok, but he took it a few steps to far. I had offered to have the windshield replaced due to a stone chip in the top left hand corner, just to open the deal. The youngster replied with "well you know it's an old truck" Well, yea, that's obvious, insert first eye roll.  I was then asked to have the truck reinspected at my cost (the truck is currently inspected until 2020). Without hesitation I said that doesn't work for me but I'll talk it over with my bride. Mary got out of our SUV and I let her know what he offered and wanted me to do.  I love my bride, she immediately said no and turned back towards the SUV. There you have it guys, thanks for stopping out, have a nice day. I didn't counter, I wasn't in the mood to horse trade. I just wanted to head out for breakfast.

Mary dropped Les and I off at the new Assateague diner and then she headed out to do some shopping.  We enjoyed breakfast and chatting about airplanes, flying, and the world at large. I needed that pilot time, it was fun, and I miss the interaction with fellow pilots and BAC members. I was happy to get back home and prop the leg up.

Monday, November 05, 2018

Setting Up The Approach

I am an avid reader of many flying forums and have posted about topics I find interesting or shed light on a training scenario. The following post comes from the AOPA Forum, Cloud Busters.

I have a question that I'm not sure has a standard answer, so I thought I'd ask around and see what everyone does. I'm basically wondering how and when you get everything set up and organized for an approach (with GPS, just because I have one and it plays into the question). So basically, when (I'm assuming by position, ie distance from the IAF, FAF, etc.) and in what order do you brief the approach, check ATIS, load the approach, activate it, etc.

The backstory is this: I have a Prepared setup of my exact plane (basically), with the GTN650, and I've been toying with different ways of doing things to see what makes the most sense (which is why I think sims are so great). I've had various mishaps: loading the approach before the IAF but forgetting to activate it being the one that kind of stuck in my head. So I've been experimenting with a system (just as an example) like this:

1. ATIS 25 nm from IAF
2. Load approach 20 nm from IAF
3. Activate approach 10 nm from IAF

I would love to hear what other IFR pilots do and I'll share my process.

First things first...

You have a good idea of the weather and winds at your destination so you should have reviewed the appropriate approach plates the night before.

I pick up the ATIS report as far out as possible. I want to have the info noted and be aware of what runways may be in use.  I also like to report that I have the current ATIS when I check in with the last approach controller.

I run my mnemonic WIRE, to get things set up.

Instruments, set the CDI & VLOC/GPS
Radios tuned and identified
Elevation, decision height, missed info

Typically I select a full approach, despite having previously tasted the forbidden fruit of vectors to final.  If vectors, I select the approach for the specific runway and approach that I am told to expect and fly the heading bug vectors as directed. If cleared to a specific Initial Approach Fix or Intermediate Fix I will select and activate instruments accordingly. Review your plate and know your aircrafts numbers. Run that pre-landing check list and make a sweet landing.

The key component is know your equipment Know how to activate specific legs of an approach, or how to select another approach and activate on the go. What's your back up, your plan B?

I miss flying and all the prep that goes into each flight.  I am trying to keep in the game so when the times comes to attempt climbing back aboard the mental skills will still be sharp. 

Thanks for reading!