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About 80% of general aviation aircraft fly using Lycoming engines. Clearing the trees at the end of the runway. Leaving 4500ft for 6500ft. Maintaining airflow and generating lift across the wings. All are impossible without a reliable engine. Lycoming powers my training aircraft and so fuels my quest for a private pilot certificate. This blog is a record of my thoughts and experiences on life, flight, and learning.

10 May 2009

IFR Cross-Country

Last Monday, I finally had the opportunity to take my IFR Cross-Country. I was actually lucky enough to have TWO (2) experienced CFII's on my flight with me. My flight instructor, and her husband, who presumably was trying to escape lawn work yet claimed to want to sightsee, flew with me. We flew from Newark, Ohio up to Toledo, where we woke up the controllers on a beautiful VFR day to do a radar surveillance approach. It took them about 15 minutes, but they found a controller. I didn't do really great on the approach, winds were strong and shifty...but I would've been able to hit the runway...all 10,000ft of it. We then headed direct to the Sandusky (SKY) VOR for an approach into Burke Lakefront. I'd never flown into Burke Lakefront airport before, and it's pretty cool to fly that close to downtown Cleveland, and almost right over Browns stadium on the final approach for 6. I had a controller that vectored me into the initial approach fix and I really flubbed that approach, busting my altitudes and having some serious deflection, but I'm going to blame the 25kt tailwind on the ILS 24 approach down to circle around to 6. It was a very difficult and stressful approach, made more so, because I had two CFII's onboard evaluating my performance:). After a touch-n-go at BKL, I climbed out and headed south for home. On the way back at 7000ft, I managed to pick up a little actual time as well, popping in-and-out of clouds! It was fun, but I could also see how the quick transitions in and out would be disorienting. The final approach into GPS 27 at newark went pretty well, but I wasn't rushed and slowed down significantly.

According to the FAR, this flight had to be:

(iii) For an instrument—airplane rating, instrument training on cross- country flight procedures specific to airplanes that includes at least one cross-country flight in an airplane that is performed under IFR, and consists of—

(A) A distance of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or ATC-directed routing;
(B) An instrument approach at each airport; and
(C) Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems;

So, let's see...how did I do? I logged about 330 miles and about 3.3hours in the air. Aside from getting my written test done, I'm nearly ready for my check ride! However, I still need about 16hrs of simulated and actual instrument time, so I'm going to see if someone wants to be a safety pilot for me to fly under the hood with:). Dad? Paul?......anyone?


So, I was out doing a little photo shoot with my cousin James the other weekend, and it was pretty windy. It was so windy and bouncy during our photo shoot that James almost christened the Diamond with a little up-chuck du jour, but fortunately, the DA40 has a great climb rate and we were up in the smooth whistling air before any catastrophes occurred. I noted that the winds on the GPS were showing 50kts at about 4500ft MSL....and I thought - SWEET! I need to get that ground speed to zero and convert the Diamond into a hovercraft! Unfortunately, you can't control the winds. As soon as we got down to stall speed, the winds slacked off to only 44kts. Still, 12 kts indicated groundspeeed at 4500ft is still pretty cool. Now to get a photo of that elusive 200kt club....

Water Beads

Beth & I applied a stain/deck sealer to our deck a week or so ago. Now, the water beads up like it has been rubbed with Carnauba Wax. I think that I'll see how it works on the ol' Passat!