Instrument Current and my First GPS Approach

Tonight I met my CFI at KSEE for some time on the Elite BATD-PI35 simulator for an introduction to GPS. A few of our planes have Garmin 430’s now and it seemed time to see what they are all about. I’d love to get checked out on the G1000 but that’s really cost prohibitive now, although we do have a 182 with a G1000 for just $150 an hour….

Anyway we spent some time with a Garmin simulator before moving on to the sim. We simulated a flight from KMYF to KOKB with a hold in the procedure turn, all using the 430 for navigation. After the missed at KOBK I was given vectors to the GPS Rwy 17 approach at KSEE and saw how to ‘replan on the fly’. Missed approach at KSEE and then on to the ILS at MYF which we used the 430 to get us to the IAF and then followed the ILS down to a landing. This was the old ILS, not the new “DME only” one.

In order to get more practice I am going to find and download the 430 simulator from Garmin. One problem I have is that I am a Mac only person so will either have to get Parallels on the macbook (actually I have it, but no Windows copy to run on it) or use it at work. Paul over at is working on a tutorial and I shall look forward to that.

So now I am PIC and instrument current. Night currency is next as well as just getting up and having some fun.

Commercial On Hold For a While?

Looking at the plane booking website this morning I am alarmed to see that both 172RGs are going on multiple extended absences for September. I have a booking with the CFI for tomorrow night but after that the next time one is available is the last full week of September when I will be in NYC. So it looks like I may have to take a break until October. Grrr!!

Commercial Training Status

Last week I officially resumed my quest for the Commercial Pilot ASEL certificate (or is it a licence, I can never remember). With my trusty CFI, we spent some time in the practice area in the 172RG and then some landings back at Montgomery Field, just brushing the cobwebs off, really. Anyway, it went pretty well all things considered and it’s time to revisit the requirements and my progress towards them; see them after the break.
Continue reading “Commercial Training Status”

2.3 Hours of Sim Time

Went to the airport first thing this morning to catch up on my instrument currency in the club’s Frasca 142. Two point three hours later my currency is extended 6 months:

  1. Montgomery Field to Brown Field, VOR approach and full missed approach
  2. LOC approach at Gillispie, usual missed approach (as opposed to the published)
  3. VOR approach at Oceanside, including extra holds, full missed approach
  4. ILS approach at Carlsbad
  5. VOR approach to Brown Field, partial panel to missed approach
  6. LOC approach to Montgomery Field and full stop landing

Quite a work out but the good news was that my skill and knowledge were still pretty sharp, didn’t make very many mistakes (well, that my CFII caught!). I’m now all caught up except for night currency which will come this week or next depending on the weather.

Grounded For a While

In my younger days as a latin dance competitor, being grounded was a great thing, it’s one of things to be striven for, but in flying it’s not such a good thing. Well, it’s not good at all, actually.

My flying club requires an annual flight review to remain current in the scheduling system and my club review expires at the end of this month. No big deal but a couple of week’s ago I had a little tender surgery that has left me very not wanting, or able, to sit in a plane. I had to cancel the flight portion of my review (but did get the groundschool taken care of) and now just as I feel that I might be ready again, I am off to Alaska for two weeks. Then, when I get back, my CFI is in Italy so currently my flight review is scheduled for Sept 20th which seems a long time away. It’s possible that I might find someone else, especially as it seems like a good idea to have someone else criticize my flying for a change.

Looking forward to Alaska. On the advice of my CFI I have a ride booked to fly around Denali and then land on the Ruth Glacier. My CFI says that because you take off downhill, you get to watch the VSI show a descent even while climbing off the ground. Cool.

Commercial Written Passed!

Yes, I passed with a 91%!! Many questions I had not seen during my practice runs so I was anticipating a mid-80s score when I walked out, so I’m pretty happy. I had 9 subject codes on the sheet:

  • A20 Part 61 Certification – can only think of a SIC question but surely I got that right?
  • H912 Aerodynamics Forces Acting on a Plane – can only think this was about ground effect
  • H928 Powerplant – possibly to do with the geometric pitch of the prop
  • H948 Performance Charts – ack, what a waste, they should be easy!
  • H989 Radio Navigation – bet that was an HSI question
  • I22 Atmospheric Pressure – probably a density altitude question, I forgot the formula
  • I31 Common IFR Producers – damn advection fog question grrr
  • I32 High Altitude Weather – jet stream question, I knew where it was but not if it was weaker or stronger
  • J29 Potential Flight Hazards

All my pre-reqs are complete save for the most important one – flying to PTS standards.

Commercial Written Update

I’m still doing my near-daily practice tests over lunch, had a couple of 96% scores and most recently settled in the high 80s so I think I am ready. Just need to find the time to get to the test centre. Things that always stump me, no matter how much I try to remember:

  • location and effect of the jet stream in summer
  • glider towing currency requirements
  • fog types and effects

In some good news, some stock options I had in my previous company are being purchased and are enough to pay off my current car loan, thereby opening up the possibility of a few hours of extra flight time each month.

Two Good Blog Postings to Read

If you’re looking for a little reading this afternoon, we highly recommend the following:

  • Head over to Krista’s blog and congratulate her on becoming a pilot.
  • Read this account of how good training overcame a stuck right throttle somewhere over FL.

Not much to report here. I’ve scheduled a couple of bookings, one this week for currency, and then a weekend in April for us to go somewhere (maybe Big Bear). Also talking to Bob about getting checked out in the club’s 210 so I can take it on a trip to Albuquerque.