Print Story At least 3 synapses still function
By BadDoggie (Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 10:09:52 AM EST) boring pilot diary, flying, PA-28 Archer, flight loving cowqaas (all tags)
I'm an idiot. Truly. This is a boring pilot diary with a play-along-at-home quiz.

Attention Hulver Infidel: HuSi needs an aviation topic. PLZFIXKTHX.

My logbook looks like this:
Date Aircraft Remarks Landings Duration (hrs)
15MAR02 C-172P Cessna 172 currency checkride 3 1.1
21MAR02 PA44-180 Multi-engine currency checkride 4 2.0
15DEC2003 C-172N Biennial Flight Review 5 1.6
13DEC2006 C-172SP Practice w/ instructor 10 1.3
The last time I flew was three years ago, almost two years after my last flights (three total in 2002). I forgot the Boy Scout motto.

Question 1:
When facing an hour-long oral theoretical test, do you:

  1. Skim through your old books, buy a BFR Practical Test Standards (PTS) at least a week before the test and study, and buy a new sectional map to refamiliarise yourself with the notations because you know they're going to hit you hard with that.
  2. Skim through an old single-engine PTS and look at an old sectional covered in your now totally incomprehensible markings from a few cross-country flights five years ago.
  3. Grab a copy of the BFR PTS two days before your exam and skim through it, forgetting to even look at a sectional.
Question 2:
If you're unable to get a Cessna 172, the plane you're most familiar with and one of the most forgiving aircraft in the world, do you:
  1. Take a 152 because the characteristics are similar.
  2. Take a PA-28 Archer because you've flown them before and wouldn't be neat to get currency in that at the same time as the checkride?
  3. Take a PA-44 Seminole or similar because you've flown them before and wouldn't be neat to get currency in that as well as some multi time while doing the checkride?

Question 3:
If you have a chance to go up with an instructor to practice before your checkride, do you:

  1. Tell your girlfriend to stay on the ground.
  2. Allow your girlfriend to fly along but warn her that there will be some manoeuvres that she will definitely not like and which may make her sick.
  3. Allow your girlfriend to fly along and only practice take-offs, landings, pattern turns and straight-and-level?

The three synapses mentioned in the title kept me from choosing C for question 2, but sweet mother of fuck was that hard. The Archer is a much less stable plane, is more crowded, has a difficult-to-reach manual flap lever, and needs a metric fuckload of right rudder despite rudder trim.

The weather actually played along today (after fucking me yesterday) but cleared up just long enough for the checkride. Ten minutes after we were down the low clouds were coming in.

Straight and level took a minute to get and I started climbing during pattern turns but caught myself and talked through everything so the instructor would understand I knew what I was doing. Then came stalls. My right leg is still sore from all the rudder I needed to keep the plane from going into a spin1.

Then came steep turns. I fucking hate them and so does everyone else. I'd forgotten all the steps you do (turn, coordinate, pull yoke, slam aileron wheel to relieve backpressure, etc.) and flubbed it so badly in my first attempt that I had to break away and start over. Once to each side, coming out of one direction and straight into the other.

Engine out was fine and I nailed my chosen spot, which had another good spot in case I'd come down too fast. Off we went to a towered airport. Fuck fuckity fucking FUCK! I haven't done any radio work and was not only trying to remember how to keep this beast in the air, I now had to remember all the damned calls. The guy was willing to practice with me en route and I didn't fuck up too badly, though I was tempted to cover my ass and use the special stupidity allowance phrase: "student pilot".

Three landings and one go-around because my downwind was way too close to the runway. Then off to home base for a couple more landings. I transitioned perfectly and was all set up in the downwind leg and the bastard pulled my engine again.

"Clearwater Traffic, 68-Charlie is downwind for 16 in a simulated engine out." I got so flustered I fucked up and had to jam in power just at the end. Had it been a real emergency I'd have made the field but probably not the runway. When your engine is out, do not use flaps even if you're in your normal descent routine until the last seconds. When you're on final and realise you need more distance, do do not remove flaps thinking you'll go faster with less resistance. I had to throttle up full to hit the asphalt.

Turn around, take off, do it again and do it right. I did. And that was that. I have a new entry in my logbook:

Date Aircraft Remarks Landings Duration (hrs)
16DEC06 PA-28 BFR 5 1.1
I'm now legal to fly again through December 31, 2008. The only question is, "Will I get the chance?"

1Intentional spins are PROHIBITED in the PA-28 and seriously not recommended. It's not a terribly stable aircraft.

< Nancy Clark | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
At least 3 synapses still function | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
I thought the rule was by Herring (4.00 / 4) #1 Sat Dec 16, 2006 at 12:06:30 PM EST
A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is where you can use the plane again.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Checkride? by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Dec 17, 2006 at 09:39:12 AM EST
Do I understand correctly that wherever you're renting from approaches BFR's like checkrides? If so, IMHO, that's seriously missing the point, it should not be approached like a checkride. The point of a BFR is to see where you're rusty and work on areas you're weak in. Since you can't "fail" a BFR, what's the point of approaching it like a checkride? There is nothing in the FAR's that says the BFR has to be completed in one flight, or even a maximum amount of time. If it takes 2 weeks and 5 hours, so be it.

And you did log your practice session, right? You're an appropriately rated pilot and the sole manipulator of the controls, so you can log it, even if you're not acting PIC because of lack of BFR.

The rudder on the Mooney isn't that heavy, but there plain isn't enough of it. Takeoff/departure stalls will always result in dropping a wing, and of course spins are also prohibited in the Mooney.

Your entry made me check my logbook. Geh, it's been 3 weeks since I've flown little bitty. While I realize you'd gone 3 years, I really prefer to fly at least every 2 weeks. School really kills my free time.

Not as such by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:34:50 AM EST
But I certainly see them as checkrides. They cover the same things. It's no different from a check-out flight when I go to a different airport and want to rent something or I haven't flown X in the past 90 days. They all want the same things: straight-and-level, pattern turns, power-on stall, slow flight to power-off stall, steep turn, engine out, and I expect if you're IFR they want you to shoot a missed approach. You don't have as much of this because you have your own plane (you've said it's a Mooney before but I'm giving you the benefit of doubt).

If it takes 2 weeks and 5 hours, so be it.

Negatory, good buddy. I only had a few days in Florida -- you ever try doing a BFR outside the US? Clouds on Thursday made me miss that day's flight. Friday was no better: ceilings were 600 with 400 BKN; I missed the a.m. and the p.m. slots. My instructor was stuck at PIE and it took hours before he managed to get SVFR to scud run back to CLW. All I had was that chance and it was close. When I go back to Florida I'll only have to do an hour or so to refamiliarise myself with the controls and airspace and then I can take up the fambly.


OMG WE'RE FUCKED! -- duxup ?

[ Parent ]
Ahhh by FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:02:22 AM EST
I meant the 2 weeks and 5 hours part in reference to the regs, not your situation. I've never flown outside the U.S. Heck, I'll draw disdain and admit I've never been outside the U.S. at all. But yeah, I've heard GA is pretty difficult in most of the rest of the world (except Australia), though I haven't really investigated it so I'm relying on 2nd hand information.

The extent of the BFR depends on the instructor. I've found that with the instrument rating most of it tends to be under the hood, and an approach or two. Not always a missed. Even a VFR BFR should include some hood time, IMHO. With my own airplane I've noticed instructors are less likey to require engine-outs, and one instructor waved off on the power-on stall when he saw the deck angle the Mooney gets to and realized we had long since run out of rudder. :)

[ Parent ]
At least 3 synapses still function | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)