The flying has been going really well. I had aimed to test for my CPL/IF/ME mid December but the atrocious thunderstorm season stood in my way and only started flying the twin (The Piper Twin Comanche, PA30), beginning of Jan 2015, to be able to test mid Feb!
Etienne, flew on a whole bunch of training flights with my instructor and I and we started calling him TCAS after the little gadget used in commercial planes which alerts us to fly up, fly down, fly right, fly left etc when another plane gets a little too close. His support has been unwavering!
The PA30 is an amazing plane to fly, tonnes better than the Cessna 172 that I had gotten used to. So much faster and so much more to do!
Tonnes of fun! First some pics before I post all about the big day, TEST DAY!
Sunday, the 17th of August, marked my first sim session in order to get my CPL/IR/ME license. I was very impressed with Sim Central’s simulator setup at Grand Central, have a look at the pics! I first had to get to grips with a more complex aircraft, one with retractable landing gear and a variable pitch prop.
I did some basic NDB and VOR intercepts during the initial 1.2 hours and luckily I remembered how to do these from my previous sessions way back. The next sim session will cover holding procedures specifically at Wonderboom airport. Exciting stuff!
I decided to re-install Microsoft Flight Simulator X onto my laptop again so that I could practice the holds in my own time and before the next sim session. Needless to say I managed to enter the hold using the sector 2 entry and then executed 3 holds over the NDB at Wonderboom. I was impressed, for a first attempt. There are quite a few checks and briefings one has to do during the approach to the hold as well as when you are in the hold already. All of that ontop of maintaining straight and level and managing your speed!!
I handed in my Cessna 172 RG (C72R) technical exam too so that is out of the way and readies me for the flight in the aircraft after the sim sessions. This plane features a stronger engine, retractable landing gear as well as a variable pitch prop. All in all a more efficient aircraft.
IF training is awesome so far, learning a lot and feeling more and more like a professional pilot 🙂
I have been pushing very hard to complete all of the CPL subjects at the CAA with 3 exams remaining at the beginning of Feb 2014. The new syllabus horror stories made me slightly anxious to get going and I finally wrote all three and eagerly awaited my completion certificate from the CAA. Ops and Air Law was a beast which I left last and after mapping out exactly what I had to study I got right to it. I didnt make the first or second attempt because the syllabus structure differed from the exam in some aspects. For example, part 93 was not supposed to be in the exam, but there were 4 questions on it! Also, we had to memorize ALL of the minima criteria for every category aircraft, speeds, alternates, remote airfields, THE LOT!
On my third try I was very relieved to see the green writing saying that I had passed after I clicked the “SUBMIT” button. I did pretty well in the end. This was the first exam I had ever failed right from PPL to now so it was a bit of a let-down but oh so grateful to have made it.
I celebrated my 100 hours PIC last week by organizing a flight with my grand mother and cousin to Bela-Bela (FAWB) North of Pretoria. I have family up there so I thought we could drop in and have some cool drink and cookies in the shade. Many pics were taken and I will upload some soon.
Highlights of hour building was my trip to Richards Bay (FARB), 3.5 hours each way, clear cloudless weather en-route and family waiting on the other side. I did suffer from a deflated nosewheel during my landing roll out but took everything in stride and got the wheel sorted out Sunday morning, just in time for the trip back!
After spending so much time studying air law and operations I was very eager to start my IFR training. I had my very first briefing on Sunday with Henry and will be updating you all on the transition from single engine to eventually getting my Multi-Engine Instrument Commercial License!
I managed to catch a glimpse of the glorious A350 on its global test flight. See the pics below..
I had to give myself a taste of what it would be like to fly the big jets, just a little reminder. My good friend Eti invited me to visit his folks in Kenya for 9 days just as the new year got under way.
I had been to Kenya for 6 months when I was 10 so I was absolutely reeling to go back and see what had changed, if any. Sadly not much, just more cars, poverty and utter chaos. Nonetheless I had an amazing trip away.
Some flying pics below, and some others too. Kenya Airways.. service was fantastic and free WiFi at Nairobi airport 🙂
I have been having an amazing time but have failed to post something for a while yet again. I have been learning a lot in the process and am still loving every minute. I have come to appreciate the value of perfection when doing flight planning, but more on this in a later post.
I had the privilege of taking my dad up for a flight for the first time after taking my mother up a few months back. I had planned the regular “close-to-home” route for the night flight. Luckily I arrived at the flight school late afternoon Sunday because the aircraft did not have a functioning landing light so had to rush my dad to get to the airport so we could at least go flying for an hour while daylight remained.
Much fun to be had. Some very awesome pics of the last few flights to follow..
It has been a while since I have written a post, simply because of the way life just gets busy as we all know. I had been so frustrated not being able to fly that I booked a quick flight and asked a few of my closest friends to come along.
One of them had been taking motion sickness pills out of plain fear. The days leading up to the flight was filled with a lot of banter; however, so was looking forward to the flight a great deal. Was so proud of him though for pushing through. The other friend had absolutely no qualms at all and begged me to stall the aircraft (which I did not do for fear of having partially digested dinner all over me).
One of my friend’s brought along his GoPro camera to capture some parts of the flight. I must say I was VERY impressed with the device, it was wrapped around with ease and took some very interesting videos (which we later used to extract stills from).
After a bit of a mess up with my aircraft booking we only managed to get the aircraft for an hour instead of the whole night as per my original booking. Had to make the best of it. Takeoff was quick and exhilarating as a flock of guinea fowl decided to dart across the runway just as I was rotating. If only they knew how dangerous that was….
We took the most amazing photos….
All is well in the flying department again. Finally. Potentially big news on Friday… Will keep you all updated hence the reason why I have not flown as much as I would’ve liked too. Flew the last weekend, Sunday night. Was very gusty but after 30 days of no flying before it, I am proud to say that I have not forgotten anything.
I just wanted to thank you all for standing behind me in this incredibly fulfilling journey thus far! Somehow I have managed to gain 8001 page views thus far since launching my blog.
More detailed news later…
Hour building is progressing slowly but surely! But between the school’s going into maintenance and further maintenance issues with their fleet I have not flown now for 2 weeks. The last mishap was the landing lights being inop on LAK. Now I spoke to the Egyptian pilot just before my flight and he assured me everything is hunky dory, well it wasn’t. After I had spent 2 hours on the pre-flight planning, 30 min driving to the airport, 30 mins of admin I got to the aircraft and true as bob, both landing light filaments were not working. The previous guy also wrote down the wrong hobbs (how the school charges us for the hours). So yeah frustrating was all I could say. Of course there weren’t any other free aircraft available. It seems that 2 of the school’s aircraft were in some sort of mishap as well adding to the lack of aircraft statement.
So yes, the waiting continues. Busy studying for the MET CPL exam which I would really like to write next week.
In other news, SAA’s cadet pilot program came to its conclusion, with not even 1 white male making it through, out of 40. Now why send me to the psych testing last year if they knew this was going to happen? The mind boggles! Goodluck to them! An instructor friend of mine got a job in Indonesia flying the C208 Cessna Caravan, so there is still hope for some of us!
I also got 95% for the Radio Aids CPL Exam, now if anyone still thinks that I am not dedicated enough well..