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Schlagwort: Cessna 172

Airplane of the future

Airplane of the future

Visibility: unlimited
Temperature: -1°C
Wind: 290°, 4kts
QNH: 1022hPa
Location: EDAZ
Equipment: Cessna 172 (D-EXAH)

The Cessna 172 is the Chevy of the skies. Affordable, reliable, easy to service and ist does not turn heads. In fact, I used to think they are a bit ugly. But beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and I have changed my mind when I learned to fly the 172. I have actually grown very fond of her sturdy reliability and easy handling.

Today I am flying the future of the 172. „Alpha Hotel“ has a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit as well as a diesel engine.

D-EXAH 1

Integrated

The G1000 avionics suit is the gold standard of glass cockpits in general aviation. The system typically is configured with a „Primary Flight Display“ (PFD) and a „Multi Function Display“ (MFD) – both large flat panel displays which dominate the cockpit.

The PFD is a large attitude indicator (artificial horizon). Some versions even come with a computer generated image of the terrain – very valuable in low visibility. Course, altitude and airspeed are displayed on a layer over the horizon. The information is easily accessible and comprehendible.

D-EXAH 5

The MFD can be used to show engine information and is used as a giant navigation display.

The difference between traditional instrumentation and a „glass cockpit“ is enhanced situational awareness (no chance to miss that big horizon) as well as system integration. All relevant information is in one spot.

Diesel-Jet

The piston engines of small aircraft are very reliable and light but also very old fashioned. Because of the very small numbers, technical development is slow and because of the emphasis on reliability, the adaptation of new and unproved technology is slow.

The power plant working in „Alpha Hotel“ is a major innovation. An electronically controlled diesel engine by the Thielert company. It has 135 horse powers and and adjustable pitch propeller. It runs smooth and quiet and it has great fuel economy. On top of that, the Thielert diesel engine burns jet fuel – Jet-A happens to be very close to diesel fuel. And Jet-A is much more common and way cheaper than Avgas.

D-EXAH 2

Easier makes it harder

A standart 172 has two leavers in the throttle quadrant – power and mixture. The Thielert engine has two redundant electronic control units (ECU) to manage the engine. So I only have one leaver for power. Everything else is adjusted automatically. What has been standard in cars for 30 years has finally arrived in general aviation!

The adjustable pitch propeller is also controlled automatically. The blades of the propeller are pitched according speed. This further improves fuel economy and speed.

 

D-EXAH 4

After a very thorough briefing and explanation of the systems, we take-off. The majority of my flying as private pilot has happened on Cessnas. So I am a bit surprised when I have considerable troubles with the approach.

I am used to aircraft with fixed pitch propellers. On a stabilized approach, very little manipulation of the power is needed. Once the desired sink rate is established, the speed is mainly controlled with the pitch.

On short final with slow RPMs, the propeller of „Alpha Hotel“ pitches high in order to be effective for a possible go-arround. At the same time, this setting increases the resistance of the propeller in the air stream. It acts like a big air break on my nose, bleeding down the air speed fast!

I push the nose down and the instructor tells me to also increase the RPMs. The landing is pretty lousy. On the next couple of approaches I am more careful with the combination of pitch and power but I don’t ever feel fully in control of the situation.

We debrief the flight over a cup of coffee. I am a bit down about how many problems I had with an aircraft I thought I was comfortable with. A humbling experience.

We make a new appointment and this time I am more prepared for what to expect. I concentrate on the power/pitch settings on final approach. After an hour of pattern work I am still not happy with my landings but they are at least more or less under control. I’m keen on getting better with „Alpha Hotel“ and book her for a solo trip the same week. I do patterns for a while with okay landings but not much improvement.

Then I climb to 2.000 feet and turn north. I will take an advanced radio class at a flight school in Kyritz (EDBK) next week. Today I plan to fly there to pick-up the books. The flight is about 30 minutes. Enough time to start playing with the auto pilot and to dig deeper into the powerful G1000 suite. It will take a long time before I can make full use of it. But the basic functions are so intuitive that it is a joy to use the panel.

The approach into Kyritz is a bit hectic. There is a lot of traffic and I am number 2 behind an aircraft that simulates an engine failure. The runway is much smaller than the one in Schönhagen and I am a bit tense. And then it happens – a greaser of a landing, right on the numbers, perfect speed and so smooth that it makes this pilot smile. Looks like „Alpha Hotel“ and I will be friends after all.

To be continued…

D-EXAH 3

Junior aviator

Junior aviator

Visibility: about 8 miles, low hanging clouds
Temperature: 3°C
Wind: 260°, 4kts
QNH: 1009hPa
Location: EDAY
Equipment: Cessna 172 (D-EKKS)

On the way to the airport, my passenger is shifting in his seat. He doesn’t say much. Probably a bit nervous and anxious to get there. The morning is cold and the clouds look a bit too low for my taste.

When we arrive, a solitary Cessna is doing pattern work. I start the pre flight and all of a sudden he has a million questions, is very excited and interested in every detail. I put the booster seat on the back bench and help him to climb in. When he gets his own headset, he is very proud – and he looks quite cute in in, too.

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The grandfather is also here. He will take the other rear seat in order to calm the junior aviator down. After all is is going to be his first flight with dad.

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The night was rainy and the ground is still wet. I taxi „Kilo Sierra“ carefully through a puddle. After the run-up, I check in with the two behind me again. Ready for the flight? They are!

The air is cold enough to give the engine something to bite into. We reach the clouds before we reach patter altitude. It’s pretty clear that we will not go anywhere else this morning. Still, there are cheers from the back on every turn. The little passengers enjoys the view of the ground when I bank the plane.

We do a touch-and-go and a second round to see, if the wind is blowing the low clouds away. But we are not that lucky, the cloud base stays low and we decide to call it a day. After the two quick rounds, we are back on the ground. A bit shorter than I had hoped but the passengers don’t seem to mind. The first of hopefully many more trips to come!

To be continued…

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Night flight

Night flight

Visibility: CAVOC, more than 10k
Temperature: -9°C, clear and cold night
Wind: 070°, 7 knots
QNH: 1027hPa
Location: EDAY
Equipment: D-EKKT (Cessna 172)

It is one of the sunniest days in weeks and while everyone else enjoys the sunshine, I anticipate sun set.

Dusk is turning the clear sky to shades of dark blue when I arrive at the airport. I have double checked the batteries of my pilot flash light, I will need it tonight. The office of the flight school is packed. Pilots are standing around in groups, chatting, laughing. It’s like a cocktail party but without the booze.

Night VFR is a separate endorsement to the private pilots license in Germany. The airport has longer hours for night training once a month. I will have my second or third lesson tonight.

The apron is illuminated by flood lights and I don’t really need my flash light for the preflight check. But I’ll be damned if I don’t use it tonight! A student pilot asks if he can come for the ride. Of course he is welcome.

Night at EDAY

 

On my first night flight, the full moon was reflected by the full cover of snow. Easy conditions for starters. Today there is neither moon nor snow – but stars.

The plan for tonight is a trip north to the Friedland VOR (FLD), close to the coast. The tower opens our flight plan and we are off into the night. The air is cold and glassy smooth. The large Lycoming takes big, hungry bites out of it and we climb fast despite three people and a big load of fuel.

The radar frequency is busy with coordinating airliners for evening flights into the two major airports. They don’t have much patience for us and seem glad when they can hand us off. The new frequency is almost silent and the controller is chatty. The lights on the ground are getting fewer and further apart as we are leaving the perimeter of the Big City. And all of a sudden I realize that the black void under the stars on the horizon must be the Baltic Sea. Magic.

“Kilo Sierra” is a lady with a lot of experience under her wings and not a lot of upgrades since she left the factory. She is kept up very well but her condition is pretty original. So I know exactly how a pre-GPS student in the 70s felt. The illumination on the control panel is pretty minimal. Some of the instruments have dim lights. Others – like the artificial horizon – have no illumination of their own. There is a small, adjustable map light with a red bulb close to my head. I use that for the instrument panel and after a period of adjustment, it works surprisingly well. I keep my flash light on the seat. It makes me feel better but I only use it once or twice.

Night VFR
Night VFR

 

On the way back we fly towards the lights of the Big City. A different kind of magic. Suddenly we encounter light turbulence and the lights disappear. We are flying into a cloud that I did not see in the dark. I was trained to focus on the artificial horizon when I loose visual contact to the ground. It is quite amazing how difficult it is to keep the airplane straight and level once you don’t see the ground any more. I am grateful for the training with the IFR cap I have had.

Back at the home base, the pattern is still busy. It is both important and difficult for a novice to build a mental picture of the positions of everybody in the pattern. I will need a bit more time for the night VFR rating and a lot more until I feel comfortable flying at night. But I’m very much looking forward to the process!

To be continued…

Apron at night
Apron at night

 

(originally posted on April 18, 2014 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/night-flight/)

Navigation training

Navigation training

Winter is time for training. With low visibility and unpredictable weather, long trips in VFR are uncertain business. Staying on the ground is not an option, staying close to the airport is a compromise. I’m using the occasion for some navigation training. My plan today is a simple triangle to a near by VOR and back.

The air is cold and the plane is light. “Kilo Sierra” is eager to get of the ground.

The first leg is easy. I have dialed in the VORs frequency in the navigation radio. On the “Omni Bearing Indicator” (OBI), I turn the dial until the indicator needle moves into the center at around 140°. That is the course to the VOR.

03 Anflugkarte

The way is not very far and after about 15 minutes I am near the VOR. Directly over it, there is no reception. The NAV flag on the instrument comes up to indicate bad reception, so I know that I have reached the waypoint.

Now comes the second part. I turn the OBI to my new course, bank “Kilo Sierra” to the left and watch the directional giro turn slowly. The “to” flag on the OBI switches over to “from” and I am on my way. On this leg I don’t have a physical way point. I will request my bearing from the airport to determin the turning point.

I’m flying a triangle. From the airport I flew south-east to the VOR. From the VOR I’m flying north-east to my next way point. And from there I am planning to fly south-west, heading 230° for approach into runway 23. So my next turning point will be when my bearing to the airport is 230° (or a bit before as the airpane needs time to turn).

Todays flight is a training mission. I know the area and I have a pretty good idea of where I am. After the calculated time I see the town that is close to the mark on my map for the turning point. I start calling the airport “Delta Kilo Sierra, requesting QDM”.

“QDM” means the the magnetic heading from the aircraft to the airport. There are many “Q-codes”. Their origin is marine morse code, when brevity was key. The most common one for aviation is “QNH” which is the local atmospheric pressure calculated to mean sea level.

“270″ is the somewhat expected answer from the tower. I am 40° away from my desired course. After a few moments I ask again. “262″ is the instant reply. The radio operator at the airport has a large display for “QDM” and its counter part “QDR”, the magnetic heading from the station. With every transmission from an aircraft, the display lights up and shows the direction the aircraft is in. A very helpful tool for the small airport which does not have radar vectoring.

I am close to the airport so the degrees go fast. I decide to start my turn onto the desired course of 230°. When I am on course, I ask again for the “QDM” to confirm the heading. “226″, almost perfect.

Back on the ground I taxi to the apron and park “Kilo Sierra” next to another Cessna. An instructor I know is near by, his student is doing the pre flight. He smiles at me “I was wondering who it was requesting ‘QDM’ on a clear day like today”. I smile back “It was hard work trying not to see the airport from where I was”. The instructor looks at his student “Beautiful day for some navigation practice, don’t you think?”

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on March 13, 2014 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/navigation-training/)

Flying with the jets

Flying with the jets

Visibility: CAVOC, more than 10k
Temperature: 23°C
Wind: 140°, 6 knots
QNH: 1028hPa
Location: EDFE (Egelsbach)
Equipment: D-EFRV Cessna 172P

There is a lot of moisture in the early morning air but the sun is bright and the day promises to be nice. I am on my way to EDFE, Egelsbach. The airfield is one of the busiest for general aviation in the country. What makes it more demanding than others is its proximity to the very busy Frankfurt International Airport and the fact that corporate jets and piston single trainers co-exist here.

I’m in the area for a few days and decide to take an introductory flight with a local flight instructor. Who knows, I might come back here by air some day and a head start can’t hurt. It has been since the fall that I last flew a 172. But when I sit down I feel right at home. The instructor goes through the check list with me, we start up and go. The airport is not hugh but even this early it is buzzing with activity. There is even a seperate radio frequency for the ground traffic. I have never seen that at an uncontrolled airfield.

A smart looking black citation jet is starting up next to us. It is right behind us on taxiway Alpha to runway 09. The controller asks us if we can take the last but one ramp onto the runway (Foxtrot) and let the much faster jet pass and take-off before us. We are more than happy to comply and enjoy the front row view of the sleek beauty roaring past us and taking to the skies.

Cap at 1.500 feet

The traffic pattern at Egelsbach is in a relatively small box of airspace that is cut out of the controlled airspace of Frankfurt International Airport. The approach is routed through a set of compulsory reporting points and the maximum altitude is a mere 1.500 feet. The field itself is at 385 feet, so there is not a lot of safety margin over a woody area with hills rising to the south. It feels tight in a Cessna and I have to salute the jet pilots making this approach.

We leave the Egelsbach-box via Echo, turn south-west to pass Kilo and approach again via Delta 1 & 2. The base leg into runway 09 is very close to the controlled airspace and the instructor makes very sure we do not penetrate it.

We repeat the exercise a few more times until I start feeling comfortable. It was a good idea to do this with a local instructor and I am looking forward to my next visit – flying!

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on July 19, 2013 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/flying-with-the-jets/)

Check ride

Check ride

Visibility: more than 10 kilometers
ceiling: more than 5.000 feet
GAFOR: “C” clear skies!
Temperature: 26°C
Wind: 300, 10 knots
QNH: 1021hPa
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: “Kilo Sierra” (Cessna 172)

A check ride is a test of the pilots nerves. Your instructor will not sign you up before he is sure that you are ready. The examiner is not interested in failing you either. So the only thing you realy have to worry about, are your own nerves.

I have had several check-rides. The first one, for my sports pilots license, was the worst. In the beginning, my hands were shaking from nervousness. In the end I passed and found out, that the examiner was both understanding and doing his best to help me calm down.

Today I have my next check ride. I will try to get the class rating for single engine piston aircraft with up to 2 tons of maximum take-off weight.

The day starts with coffee and sandwiches in the flight school. The office manager tells me later on that she always gets sandwiches on the day of a check ride. She found that a snack gives the examiner a good mood and helps the student relax. She is great!

And what does this do?

Kilo Sierra is waiting for us on the apron. We start with a thorough pre-flight check. I keep talking and comment the checks I perform. I learned early on that this is important. The examiner follows me around the aircraft and asks many questions. More than I expected. And then he gets me.

He points at the air intake behind the propeller. A small device, driven by a belt is mounted there. “So, what does this do?” he asks.

My instructor is very much a pilot and not so much a technician. We never took the cowling off, I have never examined the engine except for the parts visible through the oil filler door. “Alternator, generator, starter…?” I try to guess. The examiner smiles, “yes, one of the above”.

After he tells me that we are looking at the alternator, he wants to see me fly.

Turn, stall, glide

We take-off and go towards Neuhardenberg. On the way over there we do full circles in various degrees of bank as well as some stall drills and slow flight. Nobody answers my calls in Neuhardenberg (as expected) and so we use the runway for a low pass and go-arround maneuver.

We climb out and go over to Eggersdorf for the more demanding part of the check ride. Various start- and landing drills. We perform a short field landing and take-off, a landing without engine power and a landing without flaps. Finally we simulate an engine failure shortly after take-off. In this maneuver, everything has to be very fast (nose down, flaps out, watch your speed, flare, land). We have trained this many times and I know the drill.

The examiners check list is complete and we go back to Strausberg (track of the route, Google Earth plug-in required). I land and while we taxi back to the apron, he asks me for the times of the landings in Eggersdorf. He’s got me again, I did not write them down. Stupid mistake! I tell him that I will have to call the tower in Eggersdorf and ask for the times. “They will role their eyes at you” he says and tells me that he has got them.

I’m unhappy about the stupid mistakes. The examiner is cool about it. He smiles and congratulates me. The rest must have been enough for the rating.

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on August 15, 2012 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/check-ride/)

First solo – again!

First solo – again!

Visibility: more than 10 kilometers
ceiling: more than 5.000 feet
GAFOR: “C” clear skies!
Temperature: 29°C
Wind: VRB, 1-2 knots (dead calm)
QNH: 1024hPa
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: “Kilo Sierra” (Cessna 172)

Yesterday I had my first five solo rounds in “Kilo Sierra”, the four seat Cessna 172 I’ve been training on lately.

This was the third time I had a “first solo” in a new aircraft. A very special moment every time. But also a situation that I can face with more confidence now, compared to the “first first solo“. The day was sunny and very calm, perfect conditions.

Next stop: Check ride for the 2 ton rating!

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on July 27, 2012 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/first-solo-again/)

SFX

SFX

Visibility: fair, rain showers
Temperature: 21°C
Wind: 260°, 5 knots
QNH: 1020hPa
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: “Kilo Sierra” (Cessna 172, D-EKKS)

Today was great! I saw the big city from above, almost flew over my house, saw a new airport and had an Airbus waiting for me – but one thing after the other:

The big city has two international airports and a no-fly zone in between them. So everything west of my home airport is controlled airspace. I have been flying around it for two years but never ventured into it. Until today.

The sky looks dark towards the west and I can see rain showers. We hit the rain shortly after take-off on climb. Kilo Sierra is shaking but the shower is very local and we can go around most of it.

Rain and gusts up to 39 knots

We check in with the controller an I announce our intention: “VFR from Strausberg to Schönhagen, via Echo and Bravo, low pass over the runway of SXF (the larger one of the two international airports), exit via Sierra to Schönhagen”. The controller informs us that he has rain and wind gusting up to 39 knots. My instructor is not worried. “It always looks worse from the ground”. The controller is cool with us trying as far as we can make it.

“Delta Kilo Sierra has reached Echo 2 at 2.000 feet”

In the control zone I have to stick to a set route from one compulsory reporting point to the next. The first one is Echo 2 at the intersection of a train line and a highway. I announce our position, the controller acknowledges it and we are in. Easy as pie.

We fly over the suburbs, over the outskirts and then over the city. Before we reach the no-fly zone over the city center, we turn left towards the airport. The rain has moved to the east and the sun glitters on the wet roofs of the buildings. Between Echo 1 and Bravo, I can see my house. I’m loving it!

“You guys are lucky if I can get you in a gap to cross the field” 

SXF is being expanded and transformed into the cities new international airport. The terminal building, the new control tower and the new runways are directly in front of me now. I see the traffic on the ground (very cool) and a number of approach lights coming out of the dark clouds to the left (a bit frightening). I ask the controller for clearance for a low pass over the runway but there is no chance. The weather has delayed the afternoon rush hour and there are a bunch of large jets waiting to get in. In between two of them, we manage to cross over the airport at pattern altitude and make our way over to the next reporting point Sierra.

15 minutes break

From Sierra, it is not far to Schönhagen, south west of the big city. It is a very popular airport for the general aviation community. We land and taxi by a number of different aircraft on our way to the tower.

After a few minutes and a nice chat with the clerk at the desk, we take-off again. We fly north and re-enter the control zone via the Whiskey route. Whiskey 2, Whiskey 1, Bravo and another attempt for a low over pass. This time the traffic situation is more relaxed. We see two easyjet Airbus A319s lining up for take-off on runway 25 right. The first takes-off and by the time we are cleared for the downwind of the pattern, the second one is on the runway already.

We are trying to do this as quickly as possible. So we are not slowing down much on base and are not setting flaps. I turn into final approach and there it is: Runway 25 right, 2710 meters by 45 meters of illuminated concrete. Wow.

We are coming in fast (for a little Cessna) and I’m still caught-up in the moment when we see another Airbus waiting at the holding point. So we stop dawdling, I push the throttle to the fire wall and we are out of there as quickly as we came.

Getting so close to heavy metal was much less frightening than I thought!

To be continued…

PS: See the entire flight here (you will need a google earth plug-in). The tracking is provided by CloudAhoy.com, a great service that lets you track flights using an iPhone and analyze it online – free of charge.

 

(originally posted on July 17, 2012 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/sfx/)

I’m flying in the rain

I’m flying in the rain

Visibility: fair, rain showers
Temperature: 24°C
Wind: 290°, 2-5 knots
QNH: 1017hPa
Location: EDAY (Strausberg)
Equipment: “Kilo Sierra” (Cessna 172, D-EKKS)

Weekends at the airport are usually busy. Today it is warm but rainy. A front with rain showers and low clouds is slowly moving over the city. Many pilots stayed at home.

When I arrive at the flight school, a charter customer and his friends are drinking coffee. They got caught in a rain shower and decided not to continue their pleasure flight.

My instructor sees the weather as a learning experience. So we go. On the way over to EDON (Neuhardenberg), we get caught by the rain. He tells me to do a full circle “use the instruments and try not to loose altitude”. I concentrate on the artificial horizon, the change indicator and the directional gyro. The sound of the rain hitting the metal roof of the cabin resonates with the engines sound.

What are you doing, out there in the rain?!

Neuhardenberg does not answer our call for a long time. Finally a confused voice comes on. “We are closed today. But what are you guys doing here in the rain, anyway?”. So we “divert” to EDCE (Eggersdorf). Not the first choice on a day like this as they have a grass strip which is not too comfortable when wet.

We are following the FWE VOR (Fürstenwalde) which should bring us right by Eggersdorf. I concentrate on staying below the clouds. Eggersdorf is not far and I look for the airfield ahead and to the right. When I spot it, we are almost past it already. We are still at 2.000 feet and I will not be able to get down to pattern altitude in the remaining distance.

“Delta Kilo Sierra flying over the runway”

The instructor tells me to fly along the runway, continue to loose altitude while following the crosswind leg and sink into the pattern on the downwind leg. This gives me time to see what is going on in the pattern and makes it easy to communicate where I am to the others. He says this is a good strategy for a “surprising arrival” at an airport. And he tells me that those can happen…

Airspeed, direction, possitive rate of climb

We are alone in the pattern and go through our program. Short landing, short take-off, simulated engine failure after take-off, landing without flaps. During our last round, the rain shower reaches Eggersdorf. The controller suggests the airport restaurant to wait for the rain to pass. “We would miss all the fun!”, the instructor answers. So I fly into the rain with very little visibility. “Check airspeed, direction and make sure you climb” says the instructor. That is what Captain Dave always pays attention to. For me it’s the first time that I need to check the instruments to make sure I have a positive rate of climb!

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on July 11, 2012 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/im-flying-in-the-rain/)

Heavier than air

Heavier than air

More license talk:

I am a Sports Pilot transitioning to be a Private Pilot. With my Sports Pilots License I can fly Light Sports Aircraft with one or two seats and a maximum take-off weight of 475,5 kilograms. I am limited to Visual Flight Rule (VFR) during the daytime in uncontrolled airspace. I can fly in Germany and in a number of other countries, as long as I travel there in my German registered light sports aircraft. Chartering aircraft abroad can be complicated.

The light sports aircraft class is not regulated internationally. The aircraft are similar but not the same. Many manufacturers have different version of the same basic aircraft to cater to the different national markets. The class is relatively new, many of the aircraft are very sleek high tech toys. Flying light sports is fun and affordable. A great way to fly and an excellent entry into aviation.

Private Pilot

The private pilots license is a more traditional license for private flying. The training is more complex and it is more costly because of the higher price of flight hours. But it also has many more options and possibilities. Larger aircraft with more seats, access to controlled airspace which means access to more airports and the possibility to upgrade to instrument flying and multi engine aircraft. And it is valid international, so I can charter aircraft at my holiday destination, for example.

The transition to the Private Pilots License is in three steps:

First – and most importantly – the step from the national sports pilots license (SPL) to the national private pilots license (PPL-N). The transition requires a theory exam, an extended radio license, a minimum of seven flight hours and a check ride. I just completed this process and am now the holder of a SPL as well as a PPL-A(nat.). I am allowed to fly single engine piston aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 750 kilogram. VFR, in the daytime.

More airplane

The next step is heavier aircraft. I have started to train on a Cessna 172. It is a single engine aircraft with four seats. After 5 flight hours and another check-ride I will be rated for aircraft up to two tons maximum take-off weight (MTOW).

The final step for now will be the rating for Controlled Visual Flight (CVFR). This is an additional qualification for navigation. The use of VOR navigation is tested as well as the ability to hold altitude and course by the instruments only. During the training for this, I will fly with an IFR cap for the first time. This is a visor that blocks the view to the outside so that I am forced to only fly by the instruments. The CVFR rating is a first, very brief glimpse into the world of instrument flying.

The CVFR rating requires another 10 hours of flying, a theory exam and a check ride. After all of this is complete, I fulfill all of the requirements of the Joint Aviation Administration (JAA) for the private pilots license. I can transfer my PPL-N to a PPL JAR-FCL. This is the international private pilots license as it is issued in Europe.

I will keep you posted on the progress!

To be continued…

 

(originally posted on July 4, 2012 by tilbo at aloft.blog.com/heavier-than-air/)