Saturday, February 22, 2014

Private Pilot Knowledge Test Prep!

     I have been doing a lot of studying lately and have just been signed off by my instructor today to take my Private Pilot Knowledge Test(written). Recently, I've been using the following to study:

     I was wondering if anyone has any tips for studying as well as taking the actual exam. I will be taking it either this weekend, or the next at Dayton Wright Brothers Airport(KMGY). Thank you very much in advance.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Piper Cub on Skis!

     This winter day I went to the airport just to take some pictures with my relatively new camera(a Nikon D3200 with a 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6). However, it did not take long for my instructor to find me and offer to go up with me around the patch a few times in NC98286. There was one student before me, so I waited for about an hour, but got some really good shots during that time.

NC98286, the 85hp Cub

     After Joe had finished his lesson, we went out into the freezing 10° weather to the airplane. The engine was still warm, so it fired right up despite the temperature outside. Since this was my first time flying the Cub on skis, Joe took the airplane, taxied to runway 26, and did the first pattern to demonstrate for me.

     I took the airplane and went around the pattern 3 times using runway 8. All three landings were surprisingly soft, and were complemented nicely by the soft snow. The first two times, I did touch and goes because it was cold and I could climb out very quickly and clear the trees. The third and final landing was a regular full stop.

     When flying the Cub on skis, you really do not have to do much of anything very different. Obviously, there are no brakes so you have to be careful when taxiing. More throttle is also needed to get going in the snow, but once you get "rolling" you slide along easily. However, Joe warned me not to put side load on the skis by turning two sharp because the plane could easily flip over. Overall, when flying the Cub on skis you just have to use basic soft field techniques(Keep the stick back, 3 point full stall landings...). Finally, when landing you need to be sure to landing on the backs of the skis to prevent them from digging in to the snow.

     This was my first flight in several months, so it felt incredible to get back up in the air especially in the snow and sunset. For some reason, this flight will go in the top of my list of my most memorable flying experiences; right up there with my first solo flight. Something about winter flying makes it so special. Perhaps it is the cool, calm air. Perhaps it is the solitude felt when you're the only one in the pattern. Or maybe, it is s special because of the beautiful scenery you see from that point of view. Whatever it is, winter flying is extraordinary.