Archive for January, 2016

Fly Fast

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Here are some simple tips to help get more speed out of your aircraft.  Number one is to relearn what the rudder pedals are for.  Hint, they are not foot rest.  Anytime you are at the controls of the aircraft your feet should be on the rudder pedals, I often use the term “Your feet should be velcroed to the pedals”.  You should keep just enough pressure on both pedals to keep the rudder from moving around.  This is basically what a yaw damper does on a large aircraft.  Once the rudder starts moving a bit you start to get some lateral acceleration which takes away from your forward acceleration or forward speed.  It also should go without me saying that the ball should always be in the center – zero sideslip.  With zero sideslip the aircraft is moving through the air as clean and streamlined as it can.  Any sideslip at all will slow you down.  When in coordinated flight the aircraft has the smallest possible profile to the relative wind.   As a result, drag is at its minimum.  The FAA defines a slip (ball not in the center) as an intentional maneuver to decrease airspeed so why would any pilot fly in cruise flight in a slip?  Many pilots will fly most of their flight in a slip simply because they do not use the rudder pedals properly.

Most instructors as well as pilots tend to dismiss “seat of the pants” flying but I always try to teach it and point out how to use your seat of the pants sensations to help improve your flying skills.  I can actually feel in my body when the ball is not centered, I do not need the flight instruments to tell me this.  When the ball is in the center all occupants should perceive their weight to be acting straight downwards into their seats.  To sum this up coordinated flight is preferred over uncoordinated flight because it is more comfortable for the occupants and it minimizes the drag force on the aircraft.  Also remember that it is important that rudder and aileron inputs are coordinated during a turn so maximum aircraft performance (speed) can be maintained.

Here is what the FAA has to say about coordinated flight:  In proper coordinated flight, there is no skidding or slipping.  An essential basic airmanship skill is the ability of the pilot to sense or “feel” any uncoordinated condition (slip or skid) without referring to instrument reference.

Second tip for more speed is to understand how to properly lean the mixture.  Your engine is most efficient when it burns all the fuel in the fuel/air mixture. This is the best economy setting. It creates the hottest exhaust temperature, which registers on the EGT and is commonly called the “peak” temperature. If you lean beyond the best-economy mixture, excess air tends to cool the exhaust—but the engine runs poorly. If you richen the mixture, the extra fuel also cools the exhaust—but fuel economy suffers.   An engine produces the most power at the best power mixture setting, which is slightly richer than best economy.  At best power, the exhaust temperature is typically 100 degrees to 150 degrees cooler than peak EGT.  Although best power results in a higher airspeed, it also increases fuel consumption.

Next we can pay attention to the weight and balance of the aircraft.  Load the aircraft towards the aft of the CG envelope as possible but stay within the legal limits.  At aft CGs, the airplane will be less stable, with a slightly lower stalling speed, a slightly faster cruising speed, and less desirable stall characteristics.  It is important to understand the point that I am making here, ALWAYS stay within the CG envelope.  As the aircraft nears the forward limits and the aft limits the handling characteristics and performance of the aircraft changes – towards the aft end of the APPROVED CG envelope is better for more speed.

Fly Fast and SAFE.

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Instrument Checkride Jan 2016 KTHV

Monday, January 18th, 2016

We started the oral exam by going over all the documents and paper work required for the check ride.

The examiner then briefed me how the oral and practical parts of the check ride will proceed

In the oral part of the exam we mainly spoke about the following subject (2 hours):

Requirement to act as pilot in command under IFR-

How I would check the GPS, VOR systems, and radio systems.-

Pitot static system-how does it work –

-Weather services- and then he asked me a few question about it like: What does it mean freezing level and why is it so important…

-Approaches – We talked about the approach plate where can you find the approach plates, different circling scenarios, decent past the DA/DH, etc.

-Cross country planning – as part of the oral exam he asked me to plan a cross country flight from KTHV to KAGC with the current weather information and to decide if I need an alternate airport or not.

The practical exam (1.4 Hobs):

The examiner simulated clearance delivery from KHTV to KAGC based on the flight plan that I planned.

We started with ILS 8 at KCXY and after that we did LOC 8 in KCXY. From there we turned back to KHTV and he asked me to do RNAV 17 and hold at WABEP.

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Dec 2015 Jan 2016 Newsletter

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Flymall Dec 2015/Jan 2016 Newsletter

We continue to see an increase in aircraft sales activity in both the US market and the international market. While many of our aircraft sales clients are repeat buyers/sellers we are also getting many new referrals from banks, finance companies, title companies, etc.  We’ve been able to streamline the aircraft sales process by posting all pertinent information on the Flymall; this includes broker agreements, sales contracts, etc.  We sell aircraft quicker and our process requires less work for both the seller and the buyer.

Our classic/collector car/motorcycle sales are also on the increase. Currently we have a very nice Triumph 650 Tiger for sale.  This bike has won numerous awards at shows in the northeast region.  This would make a nice addition to any collection, to be used as a show bike or a rider.  It is very near a perfect bike.

Harry’s newest adventure with the Washington International Flight Academy has also been very successful. In one recent week we had over 10 applicants take checkrides and all passed on the first attempt.  The checkrides included private pilot, commercial, instrument, and several instructor checkrides.  Harry continues to expand the school and their international students.  He is in the process of securing contracts with a few airlines (domestic and international) to train all of their new hires.

Car show season is just around the corner. Visit Harry’s classic car cruise in page for information on local shows, cruise nights, and more. You can also visit our appearance and schedule page to see when/where Harry will be displaying vehicles from his collection of rare and vintage three wheel vehicles.

Stay tuned for more news in our February 2016 newsletter.

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CFII Checkride KFDK Examiner Retired

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

This is an older CFII Checkride – date unknown

The oral portion of the checkride.

All areas of special emphasis described in the PTS

Positive Aircraft Control — describe what it is, why it’s important, how to do it

CFIT —  The basic principle behind it… why it’s important to be aware of as VFR/IFR pilots

Wake Turbulence—- I was given a simple scenario…. (ie.. land beyond the point of touchdown of the jet)

How do you recover from a spin

Went over all the AOPA airport flashcards:

Is your aircraft approved for flight into known icing?  What de-icing capabilities does the a/c have?

Talk about LAHSO… what are you going to tell your students about it?

We continued to go through various questions important to the FARs

– What are you going to tell an initial student for the IR when you first meet them?
– What are they going to have to do to receive their license?
– How many hours are you allowed to fly in a simulator for part 61?  (10hrs)
Then we went on to talk about approach plates and how to read them.

What is the difference between a DH and MDA….. what are you going to tell your students?

I did not have to go over teaching how to do a flight plan even though it’s in the PTS

Known and understand weather

There were a few other questions on the approach plates. Be familiar with all the symbology and interpretation of them.

Here is the flight portion of this checkride. Departed KFDK and flew north east under the hood. First was steep turns to both directions under the hood. Next was unusual attitudes under the hood. Then we flew direct to EMI….. fly the published hold and VOR34 into KDMW partial panel. On the missed for the approach, it was vectors to intercept NUMBE and then fly the ILS 23 back to KFDK. Oral portion probably lasted from 10am – 1130. After a 20 min break to prep the plane we flew for 1.2 hrs.

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Instrument Instructor Checkride KTHV Jan 2016

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

The Oral portion: Most of the discussion involved the G1000.

He wanted me to tell him about the components of the system, what controls what (AHRS, Air Data Computer Unit etc’ and the relationship to the different flight instruments).

I was asked to open a GPS approach plate and explain it to him. During this discussion he combined questions about the G1000 system again (i.e.- how do I physically load the approach and chose which would be my IAF, if there is a procedure turn involved- would it be loaded automatically or do I need to tell the system I am executing one. Things like that etc…).

Then he asked me to explain and give him a quick lesson about VOR.

During these discussions he added FAR questions (can I hold more than once? What are DP’s and Star’s? ATC questions…).

That was pretty much it. We sat for about 1 hr.


The Flight Portion:

He started the airplane, took off, gave me the controls right after. He wanted me to fly the ILS 8 at KCXY using the autopilot. He told me we would fly a low approach without going missed and then heading back to York to do the RNAV 17 with WABEP as the IAF (WABEP requires a procedure turn). Approaching WABEP he took the controls and started flying manually. We flew to WABEP and did 2 holds. During the holds he made students mistakes (non-standard turns, losing altitude) which he wanted to show me what ‘fixation’ leads to. He circled to land on 35 and that was it. The flight portion was not even an hour. During the entire flight it was important to him that I would be the only one handling the radio.

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Instrument Checkride Dec 2015 at KGAI

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Examiner from Baltimore

We started the oral exam at about 07:45 am by going over all the documents and paper work required for the check ride.

The examiner then briefed me how the oral and practical parts of the check ride will proceed and asked that I will review the weather again to make sure we will be able to fly before starting the oral exam.

In the oral part of the exam we mainly spoke about the following subject:

* Cross country planning – The use of checklists for the planning stage and during flight (DECIDE, 5P, 3P, I’M SAFE), the use of the POH for planning, how to choose alternates, we also took a look at the low en route chart and he asked me some questions about the markings and different altitudes marked in the chart.

A few days before the check ride the examiner instructed me to prepare a cross country flight from KGAI to KMMU. The theoretical weather scenario for this flight was as follows:

  • Ceiling of 600 feet.
  • Visibility of 2 SM.
  • Temperature 10 degrees Celsius and dew point 10 degrees Celsius.
  • The theoretical weather conditions were caused by a stationary front that stretched between KBWI and KALB.
  • I will have two non-pilot friends as passengers on the plane.

We spoke about my interpretation of the weather scenario given to me, how I chose my route, how I decided if I should actually perform the flight or not, lost communication procedures and how to plan your IFR route to assist in case of lost comms, we also reviewed the W&B calculations and how to make them.

The examiner then asked me how I would preflight the plane, the instruments, how I would check the GPS, VOR systems, and both radio systems.

* Weather services – How to use the different weather products we have available to be able to get a complete picture of the current and forecast weather.

* Approaches – We talked about the different parts of the approach plate, when to decent past a VDP, where can you find the approach plates, different circling scenarios, decent past the DA/DH, etc.

* Regulations – Pilot currencies, instrument certificate requirements, Airplane required maintenance and equipment checks, he asked me to open the plane’s maintenance logbook and find all the required logs to see that we were able to legally fly the plane in IFR, IFR takeoff and landing minimums, alternate regulation, and a few more questions about regulations.


The practical exam:

The examiner asked me to file a round robin IFR flight plan from KGAI to KDMW, KFDK, and back to KGAI.

During taxi the examiner asked me to show him how I do all the necessary instrument checks. I contacted ATC to get my IFR clearance and after that we took off.

First we started with the VOR 34 approach at KDMW.  This approach was done as partial panel, the examiner covered the attitude indicator during the entire approach and the heading indicator only during when I started the missed approach procedure.

I did the entire approach including the missed approach procedure and after returning to EMI we took the 295 transition to the ILS 23 approach at the KFDK, where we did the low approach and the missed approach to enter the published hold.

From there we turned back to KGAI to do the RNAV 14 approach there. On the way the examiner put me in an unusual attitude twice and after that we continued to KGAI.

The examiner asked me to do a circling approach to land on RWY 14. That meant descending to circling MDA, continue above the runway and circle back to land.

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Today in Aviation History
March 26, 1966: Jack Schweibold set the current world distance record over a closed course for helicopters by piloting a Hughes YOH-6A 1,739.96 miles at Edwards AFB.