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..