Category: Flying

Training flight KTTA-KSCR-KTTA

Flew poorly this morning. It was my second flight in the Piper Warrior PA28. We had a more ambitious agenda–we were going to fly to KGSO and get some Class C experience in the plane. I was also going to work with the Garmin 650.

But we took off behind schedule. The previous flyer was late returning the plane, and I had a couple of preflight lapses that cost us time. I misplaced my phone, and I forgot to sump the tanks after they were refilled. In each case, we were inside the cockpit, but had to get out to attend to the problem. Huge time-suck.

We bagged the plan to go to KGSO and decided to focus on landings at KSCR. But I did three terrible landings at KSCR, and then we returned to KTTA. En route, Heinz pulled the throttle to idle, to simulate an engine-out emergency. That was fine.

Back at our home field, I continued to struggle to maintain control of the aircraft as I crossed the threshold.

More practice is needed.

Partial panel

These Air Safety Institute productions are wonderful, if often harrowing, learning resources. This video concerns the cockpit emergency known as “partial panel.” This means that some of the instruments are no longer operative or reliable, so the pilot has to identify which instruments aren’t working, and then navigate with the information he or she can glean from the working instruments.

One of my takeaways from this video is that I should practice using the magnetic compass. The magnetic compass is the most reliable instrument in the cockpit, but under normal circumstances it is only consulted to make corrections to the gyroscope-driven heading indicator. But I should really practice using the compass to make turns and hold heading.