Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Post Quota for 2012

I haven't been flying much. A few weeks ago, I reset my IFR currency by doing six approaches with my CFI, Mark Erwin, who is awesome, and awesomely patient with me. My last six approaches were about six months before, and before that, it had been almost a year. Those approaches, 18 months ago, were in preparation for a trip I took with my wife to Orcas Island. It was on that trip that I proposed to her, and she said yes. Until yesterday, that was the last time she'd flown with me. So now, I'm (a) flying 172s around like before, just not as often, since I took a job that causes me to work much more for less money; (b) trying to get some time in a 182, but the club only has ONE 182 at this point; (c) learning to fly the Piper Arrow to get my Commercial license, because there are no decent 172RGs around any more. Last night, my wife and I flew down to San Luis Obispo to visit a friend. We had dinner, stayed overnight and came back in the morning. Uneventful trip, except that the G1000 panel crosstalk failed, which was irritating, and both approaches were a bit unconventional. Coming into SBP at night, never having been there before, was tough because there are hills off the approach end of runway 29, and at night, it's difficult to know how high those hills are. So I took kind of a teardrop approach to the airport, and used a slip to get down in time. Must've looked pretty silly from the ground. Coming into Palo Alto I came into a busy pattern too hot, and ended up having to do S-turns behind a Citabria that thankfully either didn't land or did a touch and go - if they'd done a full-stop, I'd have had to go around (which I thought I was going to have to do the whole time anyway, so it wouldn't have been an issue). Next up: another flight in the Arrow, next weekend, with the hope that I'll be checked out on it pretty soon.


Colin said...

When I fly into an unfamiliar airport at night, I always fly an instrument approach, just in VFR conditions. That way I know all of the obstacle clearance is taken care of. (There are a few bad stories about people hitting towers and things on short final, or descending into darkness that looks clear only to find a tree.)

The nice thing about the G1000 (other than the terrain awareness, you had that turned on, right?) is that loading an approach is a quick trio of button pushes and I am following the ILS down into the unfamiliar field.

MKT said...

Good suggestions, Colin. You're right, I probably should have done an approach.

This particular G1000 was having an issue - crosstalk between the panels was not working, due to the databases being out of sync. The only approach into 29 at SBP is a GPS approach, which I wouldn't have trusted this G1000 with in IMC (weather was extreme VMC) - however, for guidance it still would've been an excellent idea. I think the G1000 issues affected my mindset to some extent, to incorrectly rule out the option.

I did have the terrain awareness on :-)