Friday, November 28, 2014

Practicing emergencies and landings

I did this short flight to practice emergencies, different landing configurations. I took my brother as my copilot (non-pilot) to give him a small idea the kind of things we train.
The flight consisted on:
- simulated engine failure at 1000' on our way to our house for a fly-by
- engine fire
- wing fire
- 2 Simulated engine failures on the pattern circuit. 
- Go-around
- Landing with 10/20/40 deg of flaps

It's been a while since I practice emergencies and go-around so this flight was mainly to test my proficiency on this. I like to critic myself in every flight and on this one I point out the following:
- I didn't had a problem with the memory items for the engine fire and wing fire 
-  On the first simulated engine failure on the circuit I didn't had enough energy to reach the runway because I extended too much the downwind. I should had executed an immediate turn on the runway direction. Nevertheless I recognized the situation quickly and in a real situation I had decided to land in a field before the runway. On the second try I arrived with more energy but nothing I couldnt dissipate on the ground (80 mph instead 70mph).
- Because of this high energy I executed a Go-Around with flaps 30. I didn't lost altitude but pitched up to much and let the airspeed drop to 60mph. I recover quickly by droping the nose and selecting flaps 10. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

MEP/IR Revalidation exam

Almost one year after I had finished my commercial pilot course (17 July) it was time to revalidate my Instrument Rating (IR) and Multi-Engine Piston class (MEP). Each one is valid only one year, if this deadline is crossed more training (money) is needed before the checkride (exam).

The last time I flew an instrument approach was on my exam. So a few days before my checkride I started refresh my memory reading the theory (procedures, systems, procedures, malfunctions,...).
Then I installed the Flight Simulator to practice NDB, VOR and ILS approaches. It's cheaper to practice at home in the computer than in the air where things happen quickly and there is no "pause" button to think what to do next. :)
In the end, it only took me some approaches to get confident again on my capabilities to fly in instruments (inside clouds).

I was planning to fly from my hometown aerodrome (Leiria, LPJF) to the place where I was going to do the exam (Santarém Aerodrome, LPSR) but it was foggy at my hometown, so car trip it is.
To set things more interesting, three new things for me: aerodrome, airplane (Grumman GA-7 Cougar) and the examiner. I studied the airplane POH well (Pilot Operating Handbook) and watched some youtube videos about the LPSR approaches.

The exam started with my first brake failure! As soon as we started moving I did the normal brake check, for my surprise I didn't have any brake force, zero, nil, nada, none!!!That's the reason why during my training my instructors gave me a "lecture" every time I forgotten to do the brake check as soon as the plane started moving! Thanks! Back to the problem, I initially even thought that I was doing something wrong, misplaced my feet or the brake system was different!! Then the examiner did the brake check on his side and it was fine. We checked it on more few times and we decided to continue the exam with brakes been actuated by the examiner. The rest of the flight was uneventful! We did some instrument approaches at Montijo airbase (LPMO) and some circuits at LPSR (one of them with a simulated engine failure).

In the end I was again good for another year! Smile

Here are some photos and a video from the exam flight:

Turning inbound Montijo NDB to start the appproach.

Outbound leg

Vasco da Gama Bridge

Saturday, September 13, 2014

C150: Fying to Coimbra

Flight to Coimbra aerodrome (LPCO) to practice crosswind touch & goes. In our way back to José Ferrinho aerodrome (LPJF) I practiced stall recoveries and steep turns. Even let my passenger hold the controls for a few minutes, teaching him how to climb, descent and trim the airplane.

I finally found the right setup to record the cockpit audio, so in this video you can listen some of the communications. I didn't want to spend too much euros so instead of buying those cables available on the internet (around 40eur) I chose to buy some connectors (4 eur) and made my own adapter!
Most of the ATC communication is in english except when in the aerodrome frequency.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer Day

One of the few summer days this year in Portugal with a temperature around 30ºC! 
A flight over Vieira beach and Pedrogão beach with a lot of people enjoying this nice day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cloud surfing

One of the things that I like to do and been waiting to do for a long time: cloud surfing!
It was only a few minutes but it was awesome! :D I still have a smile in my brain when I think about it. I hope anyone who watches this video can at least get a taste of what I felt that day. I could do this all day long! :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Porto Night Flight Photos

Here are a sequence of photos from almost one year ago when I did my second night flight. This time with me at the controls :). 
The flight included various approaches at Sá Carneiro Airport, Porto. The runway in use was the 35 (pointing North), so we did Visual and VOR approaches with the aid of the backcourse signal from the ILS runway 17.

Photo credits go to Rui Silva.

Doing the paperwork.
Checking the fuel!
Should I fill the tanks or not??
It's better to fill! As we say: "The only time we have too much fuel is when we are on fire!"
Instructor supervising!!!
Last look at the approaches we are going to do. 
Listening the ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) to check the runway in use and meteorology.
Porto city.
Porto Stadium.
VOR Approach to runway 35.

The instrument that ALL airplanes have - Compass.
Short Final runway 35
Following the sun to the USA!!

Matosinhos Refinery - Petrogal. 
Porto city. On the right side the Arrábida Bridge.
Foz do Douro.

Follow Me please :)
Time to call the day off and go home.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Baptism flights

I have been doing some baptism flights lately and one of the things that I have noticed on the videos is the facial expressions. Some are more discrete than others but at the end they all have happy faces :).  Some had already flown on commercial flights (big jets) but the small planes are a different world! The sensations are more intense and you are able to see the world closer and slower.

As soon as the airplane leaves earth below there is a new world to discover and it's a very pleasant feeling to see the happiness in their faces, it kinda reminds me of the way I felt the first time I also flew.

Below are some videos of the baptism flights I have done: