Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Night Nav

Last night I flew to Narrogin and back, practising NDB intercepts in the
dark over Pingelly. It was 3.4hrs of night flying and I was happy with
my navigation and landings. I'm still having a hard time with outbound
to inbound intercepts, but will practice until i get the hang of it
today. Tonight I am flying, Jandakot - Perth - Wongan Hills - Cunderdin
- Perth - Jandakot and it will be another long flight with plenty of
practice. If I do well again tonight I should have my night rating
flight test next.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A good Cott Day

It was on at Cott today, a bit gusty and strong at times, but everyone
flew safely and had fun. It was just great to fly Cott again after a
lack of westerlies for the last couple of months. No night flying at the
moment due low cloud and rain showers. Fingers crossed it clears up and
I can continue with my night navs later this week.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rottnest by Night

Tonight I flew to Rottnest and then back to Perth, it was black out
there over the ocean. Then I did the remaining solo time in the circuit
at Jandakot, no problems, I was enjoying it and did most of the landings
without the landing light. It's hard to fly in the circuit and take
photos, and it was dark and the multi second exposure was never going to
work well from a plane.
Into my Navs next, the wheatbelt by night should be interesting!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Solo Night Flying

Tonight I clocked up another 1.7hrs after dark. Flying Solo was easy and
relaxed. Once the tower goes to bed and Jandakot reverts to a CTAF it
seems to get busier, but spacing is no problem, I think it is actually
easier to spot the aircraft in the circuit as they make their calls at
night. I practiced flapless and all flap and with and without landing
light and felt very comfortable.
My instructor is unavailable for a couple of days, but on Friday I have
my first Night Navigation Exercise, using the Perth VOR for orientation
and going through controlled airspace. I should be ready for my Night
Rating flight test towards the end of next week if I have no problem
with the 2 additional navigation exercises next week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Night VFR Progress

I have done almost 4.5Hrs of dual night circuits now and I have been
deemed safe and consistent. The next 2 hours are solo night circuits and
then its into the night navigation. I think I have the hang of NDB
intercepts and it will be fun to put the theory into use.

Friday, March 06, 2009

More Night Flying

More circuits tonight, I was much more relaxed than last night knowing
what to expect now. The total electrical failure was really not that big
a deal, I had to keep a red filtered torch handy and when the instructor
killed all the lights I turned it on and stuck it onto some velcro I had
cunningly put in a useful location and I was able to see the most
important instruments that allowed me to fly safely.
Landing without flaps in the dark was starting to become routine after
another 1.7hrs. One more session of circuits to consolidate and then
it's off into the countryside at night for the navigation exercises.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Night Rating

I started my night rating tonight, 1.6hrs and about 10 touch and goes in
the dark. Wow, so different. Flying on instruments is fairly easy, but
initially I had some problems orienting myself because things look so
different at night. It does not help that all the runway lights are on
and so it's easy to glance out of the window and look down the other
runway, confusing at first. I got the hang of it, so much so that the
last 5 landings were without the landing light, I flared too high and
dropped in on the first landing, but I only made that mistake once. It's
quite hard to land at night, even with the landing light on, with the
landing light off it was far trickier. Tomorrow my training progresses
to a full electrical failure so landing without flaps and with no lights
at all and a red lensed torch in one hand, or in my teeth or somewhere
There is just something crazy about flying a single engined aircraft at
night, it has that same feeling as when I go swimming in the ocean at
night and it is all black everywhere and there is that feeling that
there is something down there in the dark somewhere, but I'm not sure
exactly what.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

No More CPL Exams!

I passed my last commercial written exam today, Yay!

I am currently doing my night rating, circuits at Jandakot in the dark