Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

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Martin Blank
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:32 pm

Thanks, everyone. :)

Lucksi: Actually, I take my hands off of the controls regularly. Have to do that to take a drink off the water bottle, which gets capped afterward. Gotta make sure the plane is trimmed right, though. No fun taking a sip of water and finding out the plane is about to stall or is in a dive. :)

I'm flying in a Cessna 172S, which has a max take-off weight of 2550 pounds (1155kg). However, I usually fly lighter than that, at around 2300 pounds (with around 44 gallons of fuel). Brandon is probably in the 170-pound range and I was a little under 30 gallons of fuel for the solo flight, meaning that I was down closer to 2000 pounds, so about 20% lighter than usual. Aircraft performance can change markedly with relatively minor alterations.

ampersand: I don't have my own plane (yet). I still rent. I also can't yet do cross-country. That's the next major phase of training after my check-ride with the chief flight instructor. Besides, I ran the numbers to get across the US and back: it would run about $6000, and that's if the winds weren't totally against me on the way back. I don't think I can fit that into the Gathering expenses. :)
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:49 pm

It ain't cheap as it stands. I pay $48 per hour for the instructor time, and $148 per hour for the plane. Yesterday's training (dual plus solo) cost me $636 for a total of three hours of flight time. I'm not exactly sure how much I've spent on it, but it's quite a bit so far, and I'm only about half-way through.
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Deacon » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:03 pm

WTF??
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by ampersand » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:39 am

But on the flip-side, you do have the Autobahn, as potentially overrated as it is.

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Martin Blank
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:15 am

Every time I fly, I wonder how much safer the roads would be if a pre-drive inspection were done. However, the checklists would get fairly onerous. For my flights, I have (though do not always have to use) pre-flight, engine start, run-up, take-off, climb, cruise, descent, landing, and after-landing checklists. It takes a few minutes to just get the plane started and ready for taxi from the parking area.

Back to the costs, I estimate that I've spent around $4000 so far, including ground school, equipment, 21.5 hours of plane rental, and 32 hours of instructor time. I have completed 10 of 20 lessons, most of which is dual time, but I also have a lot of solo time to meet. Solo time is less expensive, of course (no instructor to pay for), but I still need about 20 hours of it.
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Deacon » Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:01 am

Martin Blank wrote:It takes a few minutes to just get the plane started and ready for taxi from the parking area.
It always cracks me up in movies and TV when you see people run and jump into a plane or a helicopter and start it up as thought it were a car and take off :lol:
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Deacon » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:41 pm

That's probably because if you're out of gas or even if you have a flat, in all likelihood the worst that will happen is you'll come to rest on the side of the road. If you run out of gas in a helicopter at 8000 feet, well...
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:56 am

That reminds me... After my solo, a stunningly beautiful helicopter landed at Fullerton. I pointed out that Airwolf (a modified Bell 222) was landing there. My instructor thought it might be a Bell 430, and now that I look at it, it might well be exactly the one that is pictured in the Wikipedia article. Damned thing doesn't even look like it needs rotors to fly.
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:55 am

Southern California is a great place to learn to fly, except during June. SoCal (specifically the Los Angeles Basin) has a phenomenon called June Gloom. This is caused by a marine layer which is the result of a temperature inversion that keeps moist air from moving up from or out of the basin. This usually results in clouds, often low, that can linger well into the afternoon.

Because of this, I spent today doing pattern work (1.1 hours and five landings), which is good because I got to practice cross-wind landings and my instructor surprised me a little to do a no-flap landing (handy thing to know how to do when you have no electrical power and therefore can't deploy flaps), but I really wanted to get my practice for my stage check out of the way. Now I have to wait until at least Friday for the stage check practice, and the Sunday after for the stage check itself.

At least I don't have to do it in today's plane, which is one of the older ones and therefore a little more creaky and with looser controls. I'll be happy to get back to my regular plane. If the weather still isn't good, we're going on the simulator for some G1000 learning.
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by ampersand » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:59 am

Ah, June Gloom. The only blight on an otherwise paradise-like setting. Which for meteorologists might as well be hell. (Except for the fire weather chatter.)

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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Deacon » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:12 am

Martin Blank wrote:when you have no electrical power and therefore can't deploy flaps
They don't have a manual hydraulic control like they do for the landing gear on the 210's and such?
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:11 am

Nope. The flaps are purely electric. The 206H (follow-on to the 210, odd as it may sound) is one plane that I would love to fly, with its G1000 interface. Twice the horsepower, 35% higher cruise speed, and room for two additional passengers, it would be a lot of fun. Expensive, but fun. :)
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by adciv » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:12 pm

Don't you have a redundant electrical system to ensure that you can still deploy flaps in case the main generator fails? i.e. backup batteries?
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by Martin Blank » Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:30 pm

The G1000 Cessnas have a standby battery to help provide power to the G1000 (which also has the radios (communication and navigation), engine gauges, navigation displays... everything except for the mandatory backup instruments, which are the airspeed indicator, altimeter, and artificial horizon.

However, in the case of an electrical fire, it's highly possible that the Master switch and standby battery will get turned off, meaning no electrical power to the plane at all. Even with just the Master switch off, the flaps will not deploy, as the standby battery only powers the G1000.

Even with a functioning electrical system, it's possible that the flap actuator motor will fail. One could be going into the pattern and realize this when trying to slow down. It's not terribly difficult to do. It just takes more frequent checks and power adjustments, and landing just a few knots faster.
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Re: Butterfly in the sky... I will fly twice as high...

Post by adciv » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:09 pm

Note to self: Start researching the flight clearance requirements for non-military aircraft before boarding.
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