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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

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2009/03/04 Flying Lessons
π 2009-03-04 01:01 in Flying, Nflying
My flight club asked us what what had learned from our flying experiences and could share with other club members. This is what I wrote:

  • learning from different CFIs is not always a good idea since they don't know what you did or did not learn from their colleagues.
  • Case in point: when we got our first G1000 airplane, a while ago, I was not taught that the G1000 had to have its fuel level manually set (it's now more obvious and in the startup screens when you start the avionics).
    As a result, I went on a flight where the G1000 was telling me I was running out of fuel when the analog gauges disagreed. It could have been the other way around where the G1000 could have thought I had more fuel than I really had on the analog gauges.
    Lesson learned: go with the lowest fuel reading just in case, and beware of learning aircraft systems from multiple CFIs

  • At least on the mooney 231, there are 2 light switches that are not wired to the master switch. This means that they'll drain the battery down after you turn the masters off.
  • One of the switches is inconveniently located in the baggage compartment where you can easily knock it on while taking off your luggage at an airport without an AP or any kind of spare startup power.
    (I got lucky, I got a jump from a car with an AP power cable lent to us by a turboprop that had just landed, although I lost several hours, got very lucky not to be stranded any longer, and it cost me a new battery for the plane).
    Lesson learned: had it been my plane that light switch would have been glued in the off position.

  • learn to start a hot plane, or learn that some won't start even with hot start procedures without a clear risk of draining the battery (TB20 is a culprit there). I once landed at SMO and was told after I had shut down the plane that I couldn't park in transient because they were resurfacing (I had made calls to the FBO on their frequency before shutting down, but they went unanswered so I just shut down). I tried to restart the plane after cooling the fuel lines down by injecting fuel with 0 throttle, but even that trick did not do it. Eventually I told them I was sorry but that I could not move the plane and would not drain the battery trying.
  • (incidently their tow cart did not have the two hook that fit that plane, so they were not able to move it either and had to work around it). Plane started fine when I came back the next day.

  • Landed in Fernley, just south-east of Reno in March. We got hail on the track I was racing at and I was unable to make a safe flight back home due to IFR conditions, icing and high tops. I tried to time the weather, work with real time weather I had via XM but could not find a time window that felt safe. I ended up hitching a ride home with one of the drivers and it took 6 days before the weather was good enough to bring the plane back safely (SR22).
  • It is regrettable that WVFC (my club) doesn't have some kind of insurance that covers the cost of getting the plane back later since there is some financial pressure on the renter to try and bring the plane back him/herself, but I'll never regret not having attempted that flight, it was way too risky.
    I don't regret not making that flight any more than not making the flight where I attempted to get home from Visalia at night and where I lost all electrical on ground after starting the engine due to a stuck starter on July 3rd after having dropped the rental car keys in the lockbox. I knew I'd be screwed on the ground with no rental car, no cabs, and no one to fix the plane for at least 2 days but taking off just wasn't a good idea (I got lucky, a landing pilot gave me a ride to a hotel and flew us home to PAO the next morning).

  • I went to Shelter Cove (0Q5), and was on VFR flight following. I told the controller as I was lowering on the ocean side of the mountains and that if I lost him, I'd squawk VFR (something he would typically have done).
  • Once on the ground, some police/ranger came to meet me on the runway to make sure I was ok. The controller apparently didn't get my call or the calls I tried to get relayed from the ground from other planes I could hear while on the ground.
    Aviate came first (it was a challenging landing which worked out fine, but required all my attention), and by the time I tried to communicate, it was too late, I was out of reach of the controller's radios. I guess next time, I'll talk to the controller earlier and just cancel flight following if there is a risk that I'll lose him.

  • Unfortunately with the current club setup, on 3 separate occasions, I showed up for an after hours flight and the logbook wasn't in the lockbox due to various mistakes when printing the schedule and putting the keys in the lockbox.
  • Luckily, each time I was eventually able to find a CFI who happened to come back to the club, had keys, and was able to get me the logbook.
    What I learned: nothing really useful. Just be prepared that you may not get to where you were planning on going if the keys are missing, or your plane fails preflight and you have no way to get keys to another free plane.

    More pages: November 2023 October 2023 April 2023 October 2021 September 2021 August 2021 May 2021 November 2020 August 2020 October 2019 September 2019 August 2019 June 2019 March 2019 January 2019 November 2018 October 2018 September 2018 August 2018 June 2018 May 2018 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999

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