Sunday, January 07, 2007


I can't believe it's already been two years since I achieved my Private Pilot certificate. But since it has, it's now time for a Flight Review. FAA regs require all pilots to have a Flight Review every two years, so we call it a Biennial Flight Review (BFR). It requires an hour of ground instruction and an hour of flight instruction, or in the case of a glider, three flights of at least pattern height. It's with an instructor, not an examiner, and it's not a pass/fail thing, it's more of an educational thing.

The day was clear but not soarable, so many club members were doing checkrides and signoffs of various kinds... our club requires a single checkride with an instructor at the start of each year, and I think CFI did four of those along with my BFR. And student pilot JD got signed off for his written exam. Quite a busy day.

I had not flown with this CFI for a long time. He asked me if I'd had any good flights this year, so I told him about Minden (10,000' in 10kt lift and sink), Tehachapi (silver distance but not logged, 15,000') and San Jacinto (10,500' under CU right here in Hemet). I think he was pretty pleased with my progress. He had also flown a Grob 103 at Minden.
  • First flight was to be 2000' AGL but of course he pulled a rope break.
  • Second flight was to 2000' AGL or so, I just flew around and did some turns and stuff. Not a hint of lift. Too stable... there was an inversion forecast up to about 6000' MSL. I undershot the landing... should have closed airbrakes some on final.
  • Third was a pattern.

I asked him if he had any comments or anything... "Nope, you're good."


craig said...

Hello, still tracking your blogs. Funny, my first BFR is also coming up,in April. My flight experience level is not quite up to yours though. I am out in Florida where the flying is often good but not spectacular. I joined a more local club and my flight time and experience should increase,where as before I was somewhat more limited with a commercial operation. I plan to start some cross country training this year. Also, with some luck, I may purchase my first glider if things are right. Something on the order of a standard Cirrus or if I could go better, an LS-1, ASW 19 or simular. You have any opinions on a first glider? Alot of them on R.A.S.
Can't wait for Spring....

Anonymous said...

First glider...what is your budget? Cirrus would be good, as also an ASW19, the LS-1 has a lot of hotteliers to hookup.

Roger said...

I don't have any advice on a first ship... I know very few models by sight and I've only flown the Blanik L-13's, Grob 103's, and a PW-5. Two thoughts:

1. I'd think hard about what my purpose and primary use would be. Solo cross-country, where comfort and ease of assembly are important? Competition, where performance would be critical? Dual, so you can take family and friends (and mentors!) for a ride?

2. I'd look into a partnership with someone in your club or in your area. That way you could get some experience with a prospective ship and see if you like it.

If I wanted a solo ship just for fun and ease of assembly, I think I'd take a look at the Sparrowhawk. I saw one a couple years ago and was impressed with how light it was! Should be easy for one person to assemble and transport. I'm speculating it might even fit into a "toy-hauler" trailer. But it probably would not penetrate very well. And it's relatively new to the market.