Big changes in small aircraft

For me, at least….

So I flew an Arrow for the first time Wed.  ‘Twas a different experience.

Now, previously I had flown Cessna products.

But I wanted to get my Complex endorsement, and this is the only plane at the flight school with retractable gear and a constant speed prop.

Now, learning the systems isn’t that hard. Nothing too complicated about any of the systems, really. Gear is pretty straightforward, as is the propeller and its’s controller…. (apparently, some folks have a hard time figuring out the prop?….It is pretty simple,and works like every other governor I have seen, except the prop is controlled instead of a throttle).

Thing is, Pipers are VERY different from Cessnas…..I’d rather have flown (and landed) a Warrior or something first, rather than the (relatively) massive change to the Arrow and learning how to control all those systems as well as learning to land in an aircraft with an entirely different approach profile.

I’d have cancelled this lesson except that they are very busy at the school, and getting a time slot is difficult enough right now….So I took it, even though my mind wasn’t really where it needed to be. I probably should not have flown, but I did alright. Plus I had an instructor to keep me out of trouble and coach me…

All told, I did OK. 3 landings, and really, once one gets used to the different attitude on approach, it wasn’t that hard….Although it is easy to get behind the aircraft when one is not used to the different checklist.

1.4 and 3.

Why not take charge of your own survival?

So the Duck Boat tragedy is, indeed, a tragedy.

But nearly all the survivors have the same story.

No one told us to put on our life preservers” (video with ad)


If the boat is swamping…taking on water in high waves…..put yer life preserver on, or at LEAST have it in your hands.

“Keep your seats” was the order…
Fuck that. My kids would be in life preservers, and I’d have on in my arms, at least.

I hate to say this, but Darwin visited here. 

Light blogging ahead

Got WAAAAAY too much going on.

I got no brain to spare for this. Way too much stress goin’ on. I only go so many neurons, and none to spare at this time.

Check out the folks on the sidebar, they are better than I at spreading info and knowledge anyway.

Back when I can.

It’ll all work out, one way or another.

If ya got a minute though, send good thoughts my way. 


Yep, I jnow, I am sounding like a broken record.

Took the love of my life up Wed. evening for a quick sightseeing trip along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Beautiful day, smooth air, nearly “Forever Clear” and unlimited ceiling. About as good as it gets, flying weather wise.

‘Twas fun. For both of us.

And I did a just about perfect soft field landing (on a hard runway) with 9 knots of quartering crosswind…hardly a bump.

I think she’ll fly with me again.

5Guys afterwards, so it was a good evening.

1,0 and 1,

Night landings

So I was 6 months out of currency for night landings. (It can be difficult to get an aircraft late enough, as sunset is pretty late this time of year, and the flying school closes at 7 pm).

I fixed that last night.

One of the crew at the flying school was gonna be flying until about 10PM,  I arranged for him to call me when he was about 20 minutes out, met him at the ramp, and did 3 night landings before we put the plane away.

Total time for 3 full stop landings and the associated taxiing and pattern:

The pattern was empty, winds were calm, so I did one takeoff on 36, transitioned to the left for landing on 9. Full stop…took off again and did a transition to 18, full stop, went around the pattern from 18, then transitioned to 27  for my last one and turned off at the appropriate taxiway (this was the shortest path) and taxied back to the school.  Pretty much cloverleafs.

I remember night landings to be harder. This time they were fairly easy.

So now I got my 3 for the next 90. 

More light makes it better

So, having worked with another couple of range members to replace the lights in the indoor range, but not yet having had a chance to try shooting with the new lighting (the old lighting consisted of 6 500 watt quartz halogen fixtures for 12 lanes,….there were shadows and the fixtures had become…..tired) I chose Monday to spend an hour at the indoor range, as the outdoor range was about 94 F and VERY humid. Plus I had to wait there for the Fed-Ex dude to show up with a package for our in house FFL.

Anyway, I did slow fire at 50 feet.  Had the range all to myself. No distractions.

Wow, The new light fixtures make a great deal of difference. There is about twice the amount of light, and with 13 point sources instead of 6 (one in between each shooting point plus the ends) there are nearly no shadows. At times, with the old lighting, it could be difficult to see even .45 caliber holes in the target…no longer.

Plus, better lighting means better sighting.

 The first two are a string of 9 (each) ….1 in the pipe and 8 in the mag. Pace was about 1 round per second.

The first one is one handed

 the second is a Weaver stance.

This one was 2 mags, at a slightly faster, but not rushed, pace….Weaver.

I’m happy with those targets.

All in all, I like the results the new lighting make on my shooting. Much easier on these older eyes.

I must say though that that was the DIRTIEST WWB ammo I have ever used.
Seldom am I moved to clean my Para 7.45 1911 after only a hundred rounds…But today was one of those days.