Monday, September 17, 2007

Stage Check Almost Complete

I'd consider throwing all of my approach plates in the lake at this point, but I fear that, even with dual VORs, IFR-certified GPS, and vectors, I'd have trouble finding the lake.

I had my final stage check this afternoon - well, most of it. 2.1 under the hood with rapid-fire changes of clearance, two holds (one VOR and one at an airway waypoint), a DME arc, unusual attitude recoveries (both full and partial panel), compass turns, approach and departure stalls under the hood, and a takeoff under the hood. That's f%&$ing work! I was a noodle by the end.

My check pilot (the senior training pilot at Tradewinds) had a headset malfunction when the portion near the plug separated and made it tough for him to hear. So we shouted at each other for most of the maneuvers (par for the course on some of my flights, even when the instructor's headset is fully funcitonal) and packed it in at the end.

We'll do the approaches and clean up the other stuff soon. Gotta go fly some sim between now and then, especially partial-panel approaches.

Here's N916TA, a Cessna 172R in which I've probably logged 20-30 hours. It and its sister aircraft, N920TA, have two-axis autopilots and an audio Aux input (great for iPod addition to your avionics). 16 and 20 are contemporaries of N918TA, the subject of the So Long, One-Eight! episode. Nice aircraft and none older than 2002. N915TA is a glass-panel (Garmin G-1000) is also on the line, but I'm going to finish up the rating with the steam gages and then maybe transition.

Wonder why I like Tradewinds? Here's my walk from the lobby to the Pilot Center flight line. Right past the King Airs and the Hawkers. Got to like that. And look at the floor! Could you eat off of that or what?

Last thing: I'm the guest on Episode 3 of The Pilot's Flight PodLog, which you'll recall is Will Hawkins' new podcast. Check it out and subscribe to Will's new podcast at iTunes or your favorite other podcatcher or listen online at

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