Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two nice dual flights

Today the air was crystal clear, providing wonderful views of the snow on the mountains to the north and east. But due to about 50% cirrus cloud cover, it never got warm enough for good soaring. I was determined to fly regardless of lift! (Also, I got a tiny new camera recently and wanted to try it out.)

N, one of the students in the club, has passed his written test for the Private Pilot license and wanted to start to practice for the Practical test. He asked me to fly with him and tell him what maneuvers to demonstrate. I have a list of them, so after going over the list in some detail, up we went. (You can just see the towplane and the mountains in this shot.)

We found just a little lift on the first flight, keeping us up for 30 minutes from a 4000' tow. The second flight was not so lucky, essentially no lift and a 23 minute flight.

The list of tasks for the Practical is pretty long - it's quite a bit to accomplish in a single flight. N did nearly all of the tasks on both flights.

1. Aero tow
a. Box the wake when above 300' AGL
b. Slack line control
c. Signal the tow plane for turn, speed up, or slow down
2. Release at 5500' MSL (4000' AGL)
3. Steep turns
a. One 360 degrees
b. One 720 degrees
c. Complete turn on a specified heading
d. Final turn serves as one clearing turn
4. Stalls
a. Straight ahead with and without dive brakes
b. Turning (left and right) with and without dive brakes
5. Slow flight - 35 knots
a. Straight ahead flight
b. Left and right 90 degree turns
6. Straight ahead flight
a. Minimum sink speed
b. Best L/D speed
c. Speed to fly if in sink
7. Thermal soaring
8. Approach to glider area of runway 22
a. Slip on base or final without dive brakes
b. Use of radio
9. Land in designated box

So I got to fly for nearly an hour with a friend, practice some instructor skills, and split the tow fees. Not bad! The only downside to dual flights with students is that I can only log as PIC the time that I am actually flying the plane, which in today's case was only about 5 minutes per flight.

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