Friday, January 29, 2010

Same Type of aircraft, same destination but a new way to get there

What more can I say about today's flight. Again a Cessna 172, by Reims Rocket, again VFR navigation do Portimão, LPPM, but this time I made all way down via shore line. Ok, I confess that this flight was really a visual flight, more like a scenic flight I should say. The flight started with the departure from Cascais, LPCS, inbound Trafaria and heading South. When we passed Setubal we proceeded South via shore line admiring the magnificent views of the southeast of Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, all way down to Sagres. After Sagres we turned left and continue following shore line until we reached Lagos.

After Lagos we headed towards Portimão Aerodrome, LPPM, for a serie of three touch an go followed by a full stop, and that was it, from Portimão to Cascais was another student pilot who brought the plane. So I made the return flight on the backseat just enjoying the views.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back on track.. or not!

At last, one day without rain or fog at Tires Aerodrome, LPCS. Well this is not completely true. For today the Flight School scheduled a flight with other student starting at 08:30z to 17:30z, so with a time windows this big, we planned to fligh to Bragança, LPBG, on the northeast of Portugal and very close to Spain. The other student was supposed to fligh to Bragança, and I was supposed to make the return jorney. Well... As I said, it was supposed...

The morning started, again, with very low clouds and some light rain, and when I was heading to the Aerodrome I was already thinking that all planning was unnecessary because with this weather probably we wouldn't fligh.

At the Aerodrome the weather was a mess and the only plane that departed from there was de Beechcraft 1900D from Portugália until noon, at that time the flight instructor told me to prepare a new flight to the south, because to the north would be difficult to be made, the weather was getting better so I started working. Fortunately I already had a prepared flight to the south, sorry, not one, but two. One to Évora, LPEV, and other do Portimão, LPPM. So, here we go to Portimão.

Flight plan submitted, documents OK and at 14:15z the engine of the CS-AHX started to work. After all ground procedures were done, we were ready to take of and as the ATC cleared us to take of the aircraft pushed us to the seats and started to climb with an astonishing performance, of course with the help of 18 kts headwinds.

This flight was supposed to be a solo flight, but with the low time of flying on this type and low flight time last month, I had a safety pilot with me. When the flight was in a more calm phase, the instructor started to make some inputs, asking things about procedures in case of an electrical fire in cabin or wing, things that forced me to have a more distributed attention to control the aircraft, navigating and thinking in answers, that workload is stressful, but it's a good way to prepare us, pilots to other situations, to real situations.

Not to forget: First - Fly the plane! Everything comes next!

When we were approaching Silves the instructor asked me if I would like to have an extra planning work, like a challenge. He asked me to plan a direct route from Silves to Faro Airport, LPFR. This is when you think that the table in front of pilot in Airbuses is not crap. So there I was in the middle of the chart, vfr plotter, pencil and flight computer, a complete mess in the cockpit, after a few minutes, one or two actually,we headed to Faro, LPFR. The Airport was almost empty, with no traffic, what to do next? Of course a visual approach and a low pass.
After the low pass we pulled some G's to gain altitude again, that's when the unexpected happened. The fairing panel that permits access to the oil stick opened in flight. No problem! Maintain calm and proceed to Portimão that it's just ahead for a stop and go. :) Portimão field in sight and then a very smooth land. proceed to the apron, parking brake ON, RPM LOW, and the instructor closed the fairing easily, after that we went back to the runway and the instructor performed a short field take off for demonstration, the performance of this baby still impresses me.

The return journey was always via shore line and at Comporta we performed a engine failure enroute. At Comporta there is a small ultralight runway and that was my target, so I made the stabilized the plane at the best glide speed, 80 mph in this case, and planned my descent from 4000 feet to 0 feet, this field is really sea level. This time we went to the threshold of the runway always gliding, there we leveled and slowly increased power to be back to the sky and there was another low pass done!

After this we proceeded to Tires, LPCS and landed at the very limit of day time.


credits of photo on bottom of it

Friday, January 15, 2010

Perfection in the Sky

While I'm still not flying due to bad weather, I've arranged other aviation activities such as looking for new interesting pictures in Airliners.Net and watching some YouTube videos.
So I found this one from Asas de Portugal, The Portuguese Air Force Aerobatics Team. This particular video is very interesting because you can see with some good quality a formation of 3 AlphaJets departing to Reims Air Festival in very close formation.

Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Back again

Happy new year to you all! and by the way sorry for the delay of this message but my hard drive decided to left this world a pass away, so now I'm starting again to recover my data pratically from the zero. Bad news is that all my flight stuff were in that drive, as the Murphy Law about backups says: "Backup, when you need it, you don't have it", or, "The probability of your hard drive collapses is opposite the number of backups you have."
But I'm airborne again for new stories and adventures, see you soon...