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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Post solo

Ow yes! The enormous first-solo experience is in the pocket :) But that does not mean it's over... Better yet: now it's really starting to get serious business. I have the part "vehile control" well enough down, now we focus on navigation, and expanding my solo experience. Ultimately resulting in a solo overland navigation flight. ("overland" means from one airport to another). Plus, we'll polish the special procedures (emergency landings, steep turns, that sort of special moves).

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

SOLO !!!

I knew it was due some time soon, yet fully unexpected I got to fly solo!

I had not flown in 4 weeks, and in my opinion it was only then that I had shown true proficiency in circuittry. And because the weather looked marginally at first, we were going to use this lesson to practice circuits again in all their variants. That is to say: normal landings, but also flapless, and glide-ins from 1000ft. I had expected this lesson to be all about speed control, and the next one focussed on forced landings. Maybe my first solo would be the lesson after that, or even after that one. Probably in December or so. But no! It was this lesson already! :)

Piet leaving the plane...

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Emergency Procedures

After practising circuits, this time we'll look at what to do when the engine stops mid-flight. Not that that happens so often, but should it ever happen, it's good to know upfront what to expect, and what to do (or not do!)
There are two low-flying areas in the neighbourhood of Lelystad Airport, where it is allowed to fly lower than the minimum VFR altitude of 500 ft over uninhabited terrain. One is located a few miles to the south of the airport, the other is located between the cities of Deventer and Zutphen (south of Teuge Airport, EHTE).
While driving to the airport, the entire southern part of the polder it is located in is covered in mist. Visibility varies between 200 m and 1000 m, but no more than that! For a moment, it looked like it was going to be a no-go that day. But north of the "Knardijk" (a dike that divides the polder in two more or less equal parts), the weather was all clear. There were some Cumulonimbus (CB) clouds, which looked very active, and high, so the chances of thunderstorms and turbulence were high. Better stay well clear of those clouds...

I arrive early, as usual. So I have plenty of time to set up my camera and headset, so I can re-play today's flight, and maximise the learning experience. I also take the opportunity to try out my new photo camera on our Piper Arrow II, PH-KAX, which is taxiing out for an hour of local flight. While I'm at it, I re-do a shot I made with my previous camera already: the cockpit of my plane. In my previous shot, the fuel selector and parking brake lever were not in view, so I corrected that. :)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Back in the Air

After a three month "break" due to a shoulder injury, I finally got to crawl back into the cockpit again. That's a long time, soo flying took a bit of getting used to, all over again!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Theory is in!

Yay!!! I have passed all theory exams!!!
I now have a theory certificate, that is valid for two years. I will need to do my practical exam in two years, r I'll have to take the whole theory course all over again. I don't expect that to be too much of a problem, if my shoulder does not throw me back too much. I have what is called a "frozen shoulder" (adhesive capsulitis), which is basically a deep-tissue inflammation. It was very painful for the first two months, but now the inflammation is subsiding. The joint-encapsulation is now thick and rigid at the place of the inflammation, so I experience a more "mechanical" limitation. I only have (severe) pain, when I exceed those limitations. Physiotherapy is helping me to get more reach, and I see small improvements every week. This can take a good while to completely heal, though...

Cross Country

After some 5 "local" lessons (from and to the same airfield) since my official start per the first of Januari this year, I now finally have flown to another airfield too!
The first so-called Cross Country flight went to Texel airport (EHTX), the second one to Teuge (EHTE).

The 28th of April (yes, I know I'm a bit late writing about it), we flew to Texel for some touch-and-goes.

Sunday, 11 May 2014


Meanwhile, I'm also taking flying lessons, of course!
I may not write each and every time about my lessons, but they do continue. I have had my seventh lesson as I write this, which is also lesson number 7 in the syllabus, so I am progressing as planned. Lesson 7 is all about slow flight and stalls. Stalling is effectively flying so slowly, that the wings reach that critical point where they stop producing lift.
So, yes, you start to fall from the sky, and no, that's not scary :)


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Hoogvliegersdag Lelystad 2014

Busy times, with practical RT (Radio Telephony - talking to the tower) on Tuesday evenings, and still my theory course (one more lesson Meteorology, then Human Performance and Limitations) on Thursdays, plus the occasional flying lesson in between. I really hope to gt through these two exams OK, that'll leave only one - Air Law... RT takes a bit of preparation, but especially lots of practice, so that takes time as well.
Still, I wanted to be a volunteer again at the annual "Hoogvliegersdag" at my home field, Lelystad airport. That's a day, organised by the Hoogvliegers foundation, during which chronically ill or disabled children get to be a pilot for a day. They are antertained thoughout the day, and at some moment during the day, they get to fly in a real airplane. If their illnes or handicap allows it, they even get to steer the plane around a bit! That way, those children forget all their troubles for a day, and get to be a child again :)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Human Performance and Limitations

Every aviation incident has Human Factors as at least one of their root causes. So a lot of research has been put in that subject over the last few decades. Human Performance on the one side, but espacially the limitations. Man was not meant to fly, so we are taking man out of their natural environment, yet still expect them to perform above and beyond what is expected "on the ground". One of those limitations is the amount of information that can be processed. It has been demonstrated that the human brain, when overloaded with information, goes into "survival mode", where only the information that is perceived as essential for survival is processed, and the remainder is "parked" in short term memory, only to be collected again after the essential information pool is processed. Short Term memory has a limited shelf life, so it is well possible that information that is not perceived as essential, is not processed at all.
Now this is all well and understandable, but how does that affect me, the (student) pilot? Surely this will be applicable in a crisis situation, but even then ... I know what to do when things go wrong, so it won't happen to me, right?. Well, I can tell you this: you're WRONG!!!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Belated Valentine's Flight

After the cancellation of my first flight lesson this year, I enjoyed a lesson on January 12th. The next lesson I had planned for February 5th fell through because of rain, wind, and low clouds. The next one, Feb. 11th, was "blown away" by way too much wind. So, statistically, my flight planned for Valentines Day should go through, right?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

On a roll!

Sunday the 12th was the day! My first lesson in 2014 :)This is the start of my practical PPL course. From here on, I'll be flying as much as the calendars (and my wallet) allow; from here, I start rollin'!
My first appointment, January 3rd, was cancelled due to bad weather. High winds wist too big gusts. But this time, the weather was exceptionally kind ,especially considering the autumn storms we've been having, those lase weeks.
PH-WVO leaving for circuit work, while Piet is retrieving the W&B form

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Farewell Valkenburg

On Saturday, the 28th of September 2013, ACV (Aeroclub Vlkenburg) held their yearly fly-in. In itself nothing extraordinary, since they do that every year. Only this year was slightly different. Former military Airbase Valkenburg closed down quite a number of years ago already (I believe it was in 2003, or thereabout). The terrain remained state-owned, and nothing much changed, except the military operations seized to exist. Now, the airport is about to be turned into a pleasant, sustainable, eco-friendly living environment. So this was most likely the last fly-in to this 2.5 km (8200 ft) runway. I was lucky to to able to arrange a last-minute fly-along with a friend of a friend, Frank de Jong, through a quick facebook exchange of messages. We would go fly one of the Dynamic WT9's.

EHVB in de verte

New Year's resolutions

Fist of all, my very best wishes to all of you for the new year! Of course, this is the time of the year for resolutions, but I don't really do that. However, I dis plan to start my PPL lessons "full swing" from January, so that could be called my New Year's resolution for 2014. :)
I had already made an appointment with my instructor Piet, and booked the plane in the new booking system for Friday, Janusry 3rd. I had been saving up my leave days at work, so that I can use them for flying lessons as I need them, and this Friday was a day my company was closed, so I decided to start my PPL lessons on that day, to make best use of my "forced" day off.