Sunday, December 30, 2007

Practicing Turns Around a Chicken House

Yesterday ....more checkride practice. My mission included slow flight (60 kts) with gentle turns, cruise speed steep (45 degree banked) turns, and turns about a point. In this case my "point" was a chicken house and a stock pond. It's amazing to load your GPS track log into Google Earth (after flying of course!) and zoom in the same stock pond you flew around! While the photo shown here doesn't have the resolution to see the pond or the chicken house they are in fact visible when you zoom-in using Google Earth. Pretty amazing! This is a flying feature that did not exist ten years ago. In the photo shown I came in from the NW (from Bergstrom) and departed to the SW on my way to Lockhart. In the pattern at Lockhart, TX (50R) I did three simulated "engine outs" from the 180 degree point on the downwind leg. They were too easy! I must try this again when the winds are less favorable. My rule is: "never get cocky because you did something well one day while flying"....variables could be different next time. The best way to be safe is to have a vivid imagination about what can turn... will make you think about what you are doing. OK...that's it for this entry....just wanted to share the Google Earth/GPS experience with you. (click on the image for a more detailed view)


Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm now an "ABC" student pilot!

ABC student pilot stands for "all but checkride". I have all of my experience hours completed and I'm working on the details for my FAA flight exam. Shown here is your's truly getting ready to depart from Austin-Bergstrom for a flight to my favorite practice airport in Lockhart, TX. This particular flight was focused on short-field landings and really nailing my -0/+200 foot landing tolerance for the checkride. Think it's easy to pick a spot on the runway and hit it within 200 feet? Consider you are doing about 80 feet per second in the roundout and flare so that 200 foot limit is coming at you fast! I nailed about 7 out of 10 before the windgusts started messing with me.
So that's it for today. NEXT POST I'll be a Private Pilot...."Lord willin' and the creek dont rise".