Sunday, May 07, 2006

Complex Checkout

This evening, the IFR Pilot went flying with JD. The goal: Earn a complex endorsement in a 182RG so that the IFR Pilot can legally act as PIC in birds that like to fold their gear up.

Before we went flying, the IFR Pilot grabbed the checklist (thanks, JP, for letting me borrow yours since the Pilot Shop was out of them) and did some flow practice in the cockpit. It was a great exercise, as I was able to locate all of the gauges and see how the procedure flows worked.

Then, it was on to the preflight. It is, of course, always a treat to preflight a complex aircraft. You get to lay on the ground and check the wheel wells and microswitches. Must remember that this is not something to do in work clothes!

Then, it was time to fly. First thing I noticed: RIGHT RUDDER. Those addition 55 ponies out front really make the plane want to yaw to the rightleft on takeoff. Unfortunately, the IFR Pilot didn't pull the seat all the way forward and therefore didn't have sufficient leverage to jam the rudder down as necessary. JD covered for me, thank goodness.

We then hopped over to BJJ for our touch 'n goes and other exercises. All in al, it was a rather grueling workout, all 1.6 hours of it. We did normal, short, and soft field takeoffs and landings, power-off landings, aborted takeoff, emergency gear extension, and then for fun, how to use a Cessna autopilot. That device was actually quite capable, as we used in both nav and heading mode, watched it intercept a VOR, hold altitude, etc. Too bad the Stormscope doesn't work, or we could have worked in a little lesson on that too!

It's amazing the speed at which the RG drops out of the sky when you pull the throttle to idle. The first power-off landing didn't quite work out, and a bit of throttle had to be added to make the runway. OK, must remember to keep it a little closer.

JD surprised me a bit with the engine failure on takeoff. I've only experienced one of those before, when I was getting my high performance endorsement. It was a good refresher. How he managed to reach over and pull the landing gear breaker without me noticing still has me wondering. (Note to self: When you own an airplane company someday, make sure that the landing gear breaker is located on the pilot's left side, just to make the CFI's job more challenging....)

When it was all said and done, the logbook received the appropriate endorsement. Therefore, the IFR Pilot is now legally allowed to operate as PIC in complex aircraft. Ladies and gentlemen, please make your planes available to me so that I can fly them!

Before the flight lesson, the IFR Pilot (joined by JP and his daughter H) spent a bit of time washing part of 78S. She's full of grease and grime and hasn't had a good washing since last fall. Now that the temperatures are warming and the bugs are reappearing, there's no excuse for us not to pay a bit more attention to our post-flight activities and keep her in tip-top condition.

Tomorrow, MS and the IFR Pilot are playing hooky and going flying. Just for the fun of it, and just because we can. Hopefully, it will be less exciting than our last adventure together.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you mean RIGHT RUDDER because the plan wants to yaw to the left? :) Nice post!

IFR Pilot said...

Thanks, duly noted and corrected...

Sam said...

Before the flight lesson, the IFR Pilot (joined by JP and his daughter H) spent a bit of time washing part of 78S. She's full of grease and grime and hasn't had a good washing since last fall.

Who, 78S or H? [grin]