Visibility: CAVOC, more than 10k
Wind: 240°, 4 knots
Equipment: D-MAKT (FlightDesign CTLS)
My flying buddy calls to tease me (“Just wanted you to know that the bird is out of the hangar”). The sky is blue and the sun is shining for the first time in weeks – and I have to work.
But there is flexibility in my job and I can swap with a colleague. The morning is mine, the roads are empty and the Bavarian straight six accommodates my eagerness to get to the airport.
I have not flown “Kilo Tango” since the fall. I am pretty rusty with her. So we plan to start the day with a bit of pattern work. After the first take-off however, she climbes out of the small pattern like a homesick angel*. So I reconsider and do some air work to loosen up.
After a bit of that, we approach the runway for a touch-and-go. The FlightDesign CT is aerodynamically very clean. She excelerates and climbes fast and it requires conciderable effort to slow her down. After pulling back the throttle, she keeps going for a long time. A big adjustment from the Cessnas I have been flying over the winter. Pulling the throttle on the 172 feels like throwing an anchor in comparison.
It takes six approaches before I have three decent touch-and-goes. I have to learn to be more ahead of the aircraft, plan the approch and fly very exact speeds and altitudes. There is not a lot of cheating possible.
Time for some flying
We climb to 4.000 feet and set course for an airfield we both have not been to. The sun warms our faces and the view is gorgeous. The snow on the fields has melted but most of the lakes are still frozen.
The air up here is smooth and I have time to get deeper into the glass cockpit. I read the manual of the Dynon D100 and D120 EFIS but it takes practice to make use of all the functions and information available.
What was science fiction 20 years ago can now be found in the cockpit of a light sport aircraft. On the main screen, I get attitude, altitude and speed at a glance together with the trends. Actual heading and planned course are displayed as well as the engine instruments. In addition to that I get wind direction and speed, angle of attack and outside air temperature. We live in great times.
On the way back we have kind of a quiet moment. A beautyful day, a great aircraft, a good friend and the freedom to just go and fly. What a sweet day!
To be continued…
*yet another term I borrowed from the greatly missed Captain Dave!
(originally posted on March 3, 2013 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/high-tech-and-sunshine/)