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Jogging the old flying memory

November 27, 2006 Leave a comment

So, I actually managed to let 2 months pass since my last trip (the family trip to Stauning). I think it is so uncool since I can really feel how rusty I am already. I hope I get the opportunity to pick up the pace in Seattle. And then again, flying isn’t really hard. The only thing I had to take a little care about was the speeds, had to brush up on those for the Piper before leaving.

Sunday dawned, and I had promised a colleague here in Copenhagen that we would go flying before I move to Seattle. Well, given that the last month before moving will be hectic and the weather is predictably crappy, I thought we had to use the opportunity with the nice weather we had on sunday. So I called up Yuri and fortunately he was good to go.

We didn’t really plan anything all I had to care about was making sure I could get back before sundown. and with the sun setting around 4 in the afternoon, that becomes important. So we just took a trip up to "wave" at my house and pass around Frederiksborg castle and then flew back down to Hillerød – just a nice little trip to ensure I didn’t forget too much. I am sure I did, but again I proved to my self and my growing confidence that it really isn’t that hard to fly a plane – once you know how. Of course this was on a wuite sunday with plenty of visibility (nothing fancy but it was easy to navigate), so no big deal.

One of the good things about flying on sundays at Roskilde is it actually get’s really quite on sundays. not a lot of schooling going on so just a few sunday tourist like myself. Pretty nice because that means you can do anything (within reasons) as long as you ask first. So on re-entering the tower airspace around Roskilde, I asked if I could ignore the normal traffic pattern and just fly an ILS approach for fun. No problem – so I also got to practice that  a bit. Nice.

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Categories: Flyvning

Family flying trip to Stauning

September 29, 2006 Leave a comment

So – Finally – the time has come to take the little family flying. Man I have been waiting long for this. That goes double for the kids. I don’t know how many times I have had to say “soon” when Lara asked when she would be flying with Daddy.

So we loaded up the car – did all the planning with how to keep the kids cool when driving/flying anywhere longer than 15 minutes. Treats (bribes actually) and water for drinking are essential for keeping the kids quite. Actually they are more necessary when flying. Something to chew on or a water bottle to suck is good for “popping” their ears while climbing or descending. Also there is the question of how to keep the kids safe and harnessed while flying (you don’t want the little monkeys to run rampant around the small airplane cabin. For this we had planned ahead and bought a new car seat for Lara (she had to have a bigger one anyway) and  Nisa had grown up o use Lara’s seat.  Fortunately they can also be mounted in the back of the Piper (fortunate – ey?)  Pictures of this will come shortly.

We were planning to fly to Stauning  (a trip of 140 nautical miles from Roskilde) – the longest trip I had flown since flight school, it would be really cool because the weather would be beautiful (not a single cloud in sight) and a pretty decent visibility (25 km’s).  I planned the trip out so that we can fly by both the Storebælt bridge and Lillebælt bridge. Great with a few nice features to look at while flying. Mental note to the new pilot – don’t fly right over the feature, the cockpit doesn’t have a glass bottom 🙂

After crossing Lillebælt, I had planned to fly direct to Stauning. That mean crossing the Class D airspace of Billund Approach and passing directly over Billund Airport. I had no idea  whether they would permit us to do that, but if you don’t ask you don’t know, so after passing Lillebælt I called Billund Approach and asked for clearing, I was granted permission to cross over the airport and the airspace at Flight Level 45. How cools is that? I think it is a hoot to pass over mayor airports (tried it once at Copenhagen), so much fun to know all that big traffic is flying around underneath you and you can just “putter” along on your way 🙂

We left the airspace and was granted permission to pass the restricted areas in west Jutland- There are military shooting areas that could have been active, but as Billund Approach so nicely put it “It is weekend and the weather is too nice to play war, so they have all left on weekend and nobody is  down there – you are free to pass”. I just love to fly in Jutland the controllers are SO nice and a lot of fun to listen too. This is obviously a result of them being less stressed but they were a hoot to listen to. I was giggling quite a few times while listening to the radio – I think they were enjoying the sunny day just as much as we were.

Anywho – the approach to Stauning was coming up, and I had to descend with the normal care I give Judith – she get’s airsick really easy, so no sudden descending. I don’t feel like rewriting the old proverb “what goes up must come down” in to “when you go down, something will come up” 🙂 so we made a nice shallow descend, and the airport was visible 15 minutes before we landed so everything was peachy. I knew that this is and AFIS airport, which means a lot less strictly controlled compared to airports like Roskilde. This threw me of a bit off, because I had forgotten that I didn’t actually have to ask for permission to land. After the AFIS guy had said that he wasn’t aware of any other kind of traffic, I was in effect granted permission to do what I wanted, But I still called up asking for permission and the AFIS guy came back with the reply “oh what the hell – go right ahead 😉 “. Again, I love the light bantering tone. I get enough if the stringent by-the-book talk back home, so this just made me smile even more.

Well we landed without any problems. And as we taxied in I saw Lottie (we were there to visit Lottie and Alex who lives near Stauning) but I also spotted “Magiske Mads" who is one of my instructors from the flight school. He was over there for a weekend practice trip with some of the school students. Unfortunately he had heard my minor blooper on the radio and of course he had to tease me a bit with it. That is ok is though – it did make a mistake, so ok. We tried to see if we could make our plans fit so we could fly a little formation when flying back to Roskilde. Unfortunately they had to leave a bit earlier, But it was great to see them in Jutland.

We had our lunch and enjoyed the good company of our friends Alex and Lottie. Of course the lunch break would be over way too soon since we had to be back before sunset, and given my sunset experience from the day before (see my blog from Saturday the 23rd) I was determined not to get back this late. But of course time was slipping and we were expecting head winds while going back, so it was going to be a bit close again. And of course – what happens, even though you are planning ahead and are checking the kids and their diapers  to make sure they are clean before take of? As I finish my check lists on the ground and I get ready to call out my intentions on the radio? Nisa starts crying because she has a dirty diaper.. I bet you guys have never been changed while lying on the wings of a Piper 🙂 Well Nisa has..

Anywho we took of and flew home, the trip pack and it was almost uneventful, since the trip was (almost direct to) an hour and 45minutes of flying at the same level and same direction is almost boring, but it is good for the kids and Judith, nothing that can make the experience unpleasant for them.There was actually one thing that made the trip interesting. Billund Approach asked me to confirm my altitude and heading, and I did, and I was asked to make sure I maintained my altitude, since I had IFR traffic crossing at Flight Level 60 and I was at FL 55. That is only 500 feat (150 meters) – that is not a lot when a big Dornier aircraft is heading straight for you. Well not quite ,he passed behind me half a mile out, but at these speeds that felt awfully close, not scary (since Billund approach clearly had the situation under control). But a little close for comfort.

Anyway, we made it back 5 minutes before sunset, and we were able to see the beautiful sunset while taxing back to the hangar. A spectacular end to a beautiful day of flying.

I will be posting pictures from the trip as soon as I figure out the best way to get this CMS system to do it.

Categories: Flyvning

To Lolland, and back in a hurry

September 23, 2006 Leave a comment

Saturday we had beautiful weather, and the skydivers were holding a "skyvan boogie" boogie at Maribo. I called out on the homepage (which I incidentally ma the webmaster of) for people to join me for at trip down there on Saturday. Anders said that he would love a trip down there. Anders hat an unfortunate landing accident i May where he broke his ancle, so he hadn’t joined the crowds down there on Friday like mostly everyone else, so he would be free to fly with me down there.

We had to postpone our flight until Judith was off work, so we planned for going to the airport at 4 in the afternoon. Unfortunately they have all these insane and unnecessary "security" restrictions on the airport, and since Anders had forgotten his drivers license, he could not join me (and help me) at the hangar, so he hat to wait in the airport building while I prepared the airplane.

I Sure could have used his hands though. Being a "new pilot" on Pipers, it would have been nice, since I had to be extra careful with everything I did. Anyway – between that, and the fact that I had to refuel the plane and taxi from the fueling station to the apron to pick him up, all-in-all we didn’t take-off until after 5 PM..

So we took of to the south (Maribo is almost straight south of Roskilde) and after leaving the Copenhagen airspace we climbed to our altitude of Flight level 45 (4500 feet – 1400 meters). I chose this altitude to have a safe gliding in case of an engine failure over the relatively small patch of water we had to cross between Sjælland, Falster and Lolland. The Piper REALLY didn’t like climbing this day. It will get there eventually, but climbing at 4-500 feet minutes seems REALLY slow. It isn’t much worse than any of the smaller planes I have flown, but haiving been a passenger in the Cessna 182 Turbo RG from my skydiving-club I just know There are much faster small planes out there. I am so looking forward to trying it out 😀

Anyway, while flying down there, I switched radio to Copenhagen Information, and I could listen in as the Skyvan from Lolland requested altitude and drop and other things. I realized that we were going to arrive exactly as they were about to drop the jumpers, and while a little excitement won’t hurt, I also know that the skyvan likes to descend like a homesick bowling ball I thought I’d observe all at a sfe distance while holding a few miles southwest of the airport. That was a really cool idea since the weather was clear, We could see the skyvan and his crazy descend. Looks like great fun, but there is something abnormal about that big box doing acrobatic-like maneuvers while descending.

Anywho – the skyvan landed and we lined up for our own landing. However when I was on short final I noticed the Skyvan wasn’t clearing the landing strib, but he was loading the skydivers while on the landing strip. I asked him to confirm that he wasn’t going to clear it and he countered by asking me to land-short. It thought that was ok, we had 3600 feet of run way and he was parked at the other end, so I figured this wouldn’t be a problem. It wasn’t, so that was kind of cool to try that out.

So I landed short (way short in fact, over half the free distance was left when I stopped), and while taxiing back I passed the skyvan taxing to take off. Good thing that the skyvan has a top wing, so there was plenty of space for us to pass each other.

It was to be a short stop down there though. The delay before start, a high head wind while flying there and the hold before the skyvan had landed had turned the trip into a longer trip than expected. This mean that I actually had to hurry home to make it before sunset. I actually had to ask advise from Ulf – the pilot on OY-RSC who was dropping student jumpers when I took off. I had to ask him how best to handle Roskilde airport, in case I didn’t make it back before they switched to night VFR. I was basically told to fake it – until you make it. In fact it doesn’t get really dark quickly so I would have to land in twilight, but since it wasn’t really dark it would be a problem.

So given that I was late and I hat plenty of gas I decided not to fly economical but instead at a higher power setting that would gain me a few precious extra minutes. I also had the tail wind while going home so all in all I thought it would be ok. I watched the GPS a lot while going home, to keep an eye on the calculated ETA. It started out by predicting the exact minute where the official end of the day-VFR period ends. While cruising back the time improved a bit, so I would land legally. But it would be after formal sunset AND since the night mists were coming up the sun actually set early in the clouds so it would be a landing in twilight.

I made it back to the airport and since everybody else had landed at respectful hour – not last minute like I was about to, the airspace was all cleared and I was giving permission to do the easy approach without worrying about traffic.

This was so cool – I mean it is uncool being pressed for time, but landing in beautiful weather right after sunset was really pretty and a lot of fun. Too bad I didn’t get more time with the guys at the boogie – but hey, I have spend so much time at boogies the last 8 years that I figure I will survive anyway.

Categories: Flyvning

Spooky but legal weather

September 16, 2006 Leave a comment

So, ever since I receive my license, I of course have wanted to take my family flying. They have had to listen to me rave about how great it was to fly and how much fun I was having, so I was really eager to share it with them. Unfortunately, work vacation and the need for learning to fly a 4-person airplane has gotten in the way, but those obstacles are now out of the way. Judith and I thought that it would be good first to test how she would feel about it. She get’s airsick so easily. She didn’t need to have the extra task of keeping the backseat terrorist in check while fighting down nausea.

Unfortunately, the weather is slowly degrading (it is a regular fall unlike last year), so while I have learned to fly in mostly under near perfect conditions, I now have to plan for the weather changes. Sunday we had to cancel due to low clouds at Roskilde, and the weather report for Monday threatened with bad visibility and a chance of misty fog. Well – for once we had an airplane, and the kids were “parked” with the grandma, so we thought we’d at least go to the airport and try.

As promised it was misty, but not below the minimum values (actually a bit above), so we thought we’d give it a try. In a sense that wasn’t the best decision I made that entire day. The best decision I made was to remember to turn on the GPS, because shortly after take-off (at 500) we hit a very thing layer of low clouds (Few 005) . No problem to pass through them, but looking back over my should I saw that combined wit the mist they COMPLETELY obscured the airport – I couldn’t see it.. Amazing! So I turn right to a northbound direction (They we’re using right hand traffic that day). I have to since I was supposed to leave the airspace via Store Valby, but If I were to descend back down again, I could just do a normal traffic circle and request immediate descend. But even though I was practically passing the threshold of Runway 11 where there should be tons of lights, I only managed to spot it when I passed right over the threshold. Actually it was Judith who spotted the runway – good job dear!

Well – we were airborne and we were above those damn annoying clouds anyway, so the damage was done, and we could see that the low clouds were only present right over the airport (it figures!), so we tried to go sight seeing. Of course we realized that we weren’t really going to be able to see anything, but the trip was mostly also to figure out if Judith could even stand flying in a small airplane. She get’s airsick in the car just by passing a speedbump, so we wanted to see how she would do in the airplane. So we changed our plans just to fly counterclock wise around the airspace, so that I could re-enter from the west. I had heard on the radio that the IR students were practicing their instrument approaches on runway 11, because the wind were favorably and it has the ILS system. And I have had rudimentary training in instrument flying, so I thought this would be a GREAT (and necessary) tool for getting back down. So by using all available means (localizers, ILS and GPS) it wasn’t really hard to –reenter the airspace. But it was Really spooky, since While I have done ILS training, this time I couldn’t rip off my training goggles or rely on an instructor to save my ass – his was the real deal. But I think I passed with flying colors. I flew the ILS approach as I should and at around 2 miles out, I spotted the run way lights and landed softly and nicely. I felt pretty good for doing this. I mean, it is nice to know that you have the skills to deal with these kinds of situations, should they come up unexpected.

Final check overstået

July 25, 2006 Leave a comment

Så er jeg sgu snart færdig med PPL’en. Hvor fa’en blev tiden af? Og vigtigere, hvor blev opdateringerne af?
Hvem havde gættet at vi skulle få den VILDESTE sommer jeg kan huske? Vi har haft så meget godt vejr, og når det er godt vejr, hvad sker der så? SÅ GROR ukrudtet i haven… Og det får det lov til fordi jeg har fløjet MAX hele juli.

Der har også været plads til lidt ferie…. som blev brugt på flyvning… Nej Judith og jeg havde aftalt en uges ferie i jylland (Juelsminde), så der kunne jeg ikke flyve… Så jeg brugte den på at planlægge flyvning og besøge flyvepladser i Jylland 😀 jeg glæder mig meget til jeg skal til Juelsminde næste gang – for så vil jeg lande på Rårup. Hyggelig lille plads med en rigtig hyggelig flyveklub…
Når jeg skriver at jeg "næsten er færdig" i title, så er det fordi jeg i går bestod mit final-check – dvs. skolens generalprøve på den endelige SLV prøve. Der bliver man trukket igennem den samme prøve som SLV vil foretage, dog her med Skolens "Chief Instructor". Det gik godt. Så nu venter vi bare på en prøve dato fra SLV, og så vl jeg håbe på rigtig godt vejr den dag.
Imens jeg går og venter på SLV, vil jeg nok lige snuppe en ekstra trænings lektion eller 2. Det kan nok godt betale sig at øve de par småting, man synes ikke helt går efter planen.

Categories: Flyvning