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  1. Yesterday
  2. 1943 L-2M Taylorcraft

    Great looking airplane Steve!
  3. MDA vs DA

    I'm not an instructor, so teaching people IFR is a different ballgame. But here's some food for thought. Is the method of going missed the same with a precision vs non-precision approach? Generally speaking, no it is not. With a precision approach you go directly from the decent phase to the climb phase with no leveling off in between. With a non-precision approach you may and quite often will level off at some point prior to going missed. So let's say as a personal minimum you always add 50' to a DA to insure you don't descend below the DA. You are still descending when you make your decision. As a personal minimum if you add 50' to the MDA to make sure you don't go below it, you are just changing the point at which you level off, which may or may not be the same point where you make your decision to go missed.
  4. MDA vs DA

    In my talks with my CFII he has always said that in practice, the MDA vs DA vs DH is all about the same. If you count on the additional 40 feet you get out deciding at your DA vs the 40 feet you above the MDA you start to level out so you don't descend below then you are going to end up in a real bind one day because it tends to set pilots up to 'take a look.' Still playing in the sandbox sim I so far can only count one of my practice approaches where I have ended up dead center on the runway, but it's early days still and I'm still learning/practicing. Single pilot IFR is so difficult, especially if you don't have an autopilot. And if you do have an autopilot, make sure to practice some single pilot IFR work without an autopilot on in order to be able to handle things when your technology takes a dump on you. But then again, my viewpoint is slanted because I'm still a low time IFR student wannabe IFR pilot. Personal minimums are a good idea for any pilot, doubly so for IFR pilots. Mine are going to be rather high to start. But it is an exciting process. Seeing the runway show up in the sim when you come out of the clouds is pretty neat really. It all works, as long as you trust your needles and fly your procedure.
  5. Last week
  6. MDA vs DA

    In a continuing effort to add a bit of meat back into this site I'm going to continue with another IFR subject which was a bit of a mystery to me when I got my IFR rating. I'll also throw in some real world application of what it's like to fly an approach down to minimums, which is almost certainly quite different than anything you experienced in training. On a typical precision approach chart you'll typically have MDA, DA, and DH depicted and sometimes multiple values for some of these things. Decision Height (DH) is for aircraft equipped with a Radar AlTimeter, so if you don't have a RAT, don't worry about it. MDAs are for non-precision approaches and DAs are for precision approaches. That part is simple enough, but the application of those two things is quite different. To give a little different answer than the textbook one, assuming you wind up going missed a DA is something you can descend below while a MDA you cannot. The MDA is pretty simple. You level off at the MDA and you don't go below it until you are in a position to land. This is true whether it's a straight in, sidestep, or circling approach. The DA is a bit more complicated. At the DA you must make a decision to land or go around. So it's a pretty safe bet that if you don't make a decision until the DA, you're going to descend below it before you start to climb because you're in a descent when you make the decision. This does not mean you can change your mind and land after DA. Descending below the DA to "take a peek" has turned perfectly good pilots into a smoking craters. Make a decision at or above DA and execute that decision, period. When you are in training, you will fly many approaches down to "minimums', where the instructor tells you to flip up or pull off the hood and voila! The runway appears in HD clarity in perfect CAVU conditions. Flying an approach to real IMC minimums can be quite different. Let's assume a typical ILS approach with 200' ceiling, 1800' visibility minimums with a full set of approach lights. An approach to minimums could mean you have a well defined stratus layer that ends at 200' and good visibility below, or it could be the ceiling is higher, but visibility is reduced to RVR1800 below, or you could have a ragged ceiling where visibility has significant variances at various points along the approach, or any combination of all of these things. Professional pilots who routinely fly approaches down to minimums kinda like to know what to expect, and will often fly into big airports with lots of tools that help them in both their per-approach planning and the application. So it's worth familiarizing yourself with what those various tools are like different types of approach lighting systems, RVR vs ASOS/AWOS, and so forth, but I'm not going to get into that more than just touching on the subject. Suffice it to say, gather as much information about the conditions as you can and form an idea of what that's going to look like before you have to make a decision on whether to land or not. For precision approaches that do have an approach lighting system, the most common type is the MALSR, which features strobe lights farthest out for alignment and various perpendicular bars of lights of varying colors and lengths. The idea is that at 1800' of visibility, you're going to see those lights well before you see the runway, and they will provide you with a reference for centerline alignment and distance to the threshold. The critical phase of the approach is the point at which you must transition from instruments to visual. Without going into the human factors and aeromedical realities, it's worth stating there's some significant challenges you'll face that you didn't have to deal with on those training approaches. At 2400' from the threshold is where the flashing lights are. Unless you have a great autopilot or you're just really good or really lucky, you aren't going to be lined up on the centerline. Use those flashing lights to line up and do so immediately. By the time you get even with them, you should have the threshold lights in sight. By the time you are even with the last flasher, you are 1400' from the runway threshold and below both vertical and horizontal minimums. In your training, you had a full runway to line up on. In reality you may not, and you may not even have a nice pretty set of lights to line up on either as not all approaches have them, particularly those handy LPV approaches that go down to some pretty low minimums. Jets and other larger planes typically have two pilots and a lot of that reason has to do with flying approaches down to minimums. One pilot is outside while the other is inside and they have a defined strategy on how to transition from one to the other. This is a luxury you don't have flying single pilot IFR, so it's worth careful consideration of whether or not you want to even attempt flying at or near minimums. Part 91 you can even attempt an approach that is below reported minimum conditions. It's another one of those things which might be legal, but ain't all that smart. Single pilot IFR it's worth developing a personal minimum strategy of what approaches you'll even attempt under a given set of conditions. It's also worth knowing the difference between the MDA and DA, so when you develop those personal minimums you can apply them in the same way you would with published minimums.
  7. Bought a new shed out back for my mower

    Steve - Good looking hangar! How do you like the "higher power" (or whatever the style/brand is) door? I really like the concept compared to a bi-fold or full swing-out. I am considering building a mower shed myself in the near future but need to shop around for a local builder that feels comfortable installing a door of this type. Do you have any leads for hangar contractors for when you decide to build yours you can pass along?
  8. approach practice

    Generally speaking the towers are very receptive of practice approaches, so you can always talk to them and find out how to do it. You can even ask to visit the tower and speak to them in person about it. I have little doubt GPM tower has a method worked out for doing it and since they now have a radar display, it makes it easier for them to accommodate. Personally I just don't like flying practice approaches in busy areas and there's just so many other better places to go that aren't that busy. Going against the flow of traffic makes things even more difficult and it just increases the chances you're going to have to break out prematurely. The frustrating part is you spend time setting yourself up for the approach only to have to break it off because of traffic. Not my idea of fun. As far as keeping the needles centered goes, my advice is to learn to use the rudder to keep yourself on the LOC and the throttle to keep yourself on the GS. When you can master flying an approach without using the yoke, you'll be able to fly an ILS approach to within one dot.
  9. approach practice

    I hear what you say about not practicing approaches at GPM, it's busy airspace. It was partially a nod to 'how' might I do a practice approach there, how ATC handles practice approaches, and what I might expect. As we have just started approaches (just flew my first practice GPS RNAV31 for RBD in the sim for 4 goes the other day) I am currently full of questions about how it will work in the plane (other than slower to reset). I realize that the one we flew for RBD in the sim was 'simple' and not 'challenging.' But as a fledgling IFR student it was a good one to practice being turned onto the final course and intercepting a derived glide slope for the lpv approach in the sim. Working in finding the zen of center of the needles. Next lesson we'll add in missed, holds, both ones on the procedure and ATC ones given on the fly. So, for the sake of 'practice' you can fly any approach at the airport and not worry about the prevailing wind/traffic, as long as you can maintain adequate separation from other traffic and/or the tower (if there is one) will approve? From another forum, from some others who have flown it as a practice approach at GPM they have said "Typically when we were shooting the practice we would have GKY towers frequency in the number 2 comm and when going missed GPM tower would tell us to contact GKY tower and just tell them you are missed off GPM going to NAHMU." and "it’s prob done 20 or 30 times a day. Just don’t hold at the fix long because it ties up the ILs at gky."
  10. approach practice

    My answer is don't do practice approaches at GPM, at least repetitive ones where you plan on going missed. There's nothing challenging about either of the non-precision approaches to GPM. Both feature no turns between the IAF and FAF, and less than 1,000' to descend to the MDA. The area over Joe Pool Lake is very busy with aircraft transitioning in all directions. There's obstructions, an adjacent class D, the cedar hill towers, and class B you have to deal with, along with a lot of helicopter traffic that doesn't always mix well with fixed wing. So in essence a lot of additional risk with very little benefit. If you want to do practice approaches into GPM because it's your home airport, make it the last one of the day where you plan on a full stop landing. My favorite place to practice approaches is Mesquite. It's not far from GPM and there's usually not much traffic even though there's a control tower which gives you another set of eyes. I fly the ILS 18, go missed, and then fly the back course to 36, go missed and then do the whole thing over again. Throw in a hold or two at PQF and I can get my six month IFR currency done inside of 30 minutes.
  11. approach practice

    If you modified it for training purposes to be a climbing right turn to NAHMU then that would solve the GKY issue. If traffic is landing 17 at GPM when you're doing the practice approach then that would put you beak to beak with downwind traffic. You would also be closer to the Cedar Hills towers. Need a safety pilot with sharp vision.
  12. approach practice

    Okay, here's one I'm curious about. Let's take a look at the RNAV GPS 35 approach to KGPM. The IF is at ERGEY with the FAF located at NAWXY... our MAP is at CUXPY then fly 1.9 miles to the airport. Missed is a climbing left to 2300 feet and hold at NAHMU... Now, how do we fly this as a practice approach? Assuming we 'vector' to the FAF, that puts us fairly close to GKY's class D and right smack in a high traffic area for both airports at 2000 feet. The missed is at 411 feet agl(1000 msl), and then we turn left and climb to 2300 and fly direct to NAHMU which will put passing through GKY's airspace. Is this a case where one talks to approach and tells them what we'd like to do and they give us a different missed procedure to keep us out of GKY's airspace? I know that if this was a for real approach that ATC would have everything locked up for our approach to keep things civil and safe .But how does this happen during practice procedures?
  13. Sport Pilot training in DFW?

    If you can get a 3rd class medical, then I think your best bet is to get the PPL. The hours you save in training aren't going to be worth it over the long term, and the additional hours spent training has value even if you don't plan on using the additional privileges. This is now especially true since the rules on the 3rd class medical have loosened.
  14. Another cool ForeFlight trick

    Yes. I like to put it on the far right and put descent rate next to it. That way when I'm ready to descend I match up the two numbers.
  15. Is anyone still using this board?

    I'm going to be drifting back here more frequently. Most of the main traffic went to the North Texas Aviators Facebook page when the old server imploded. Glad to see some of the old hands and some new hands posting here.
  16. Adding to the above, I am a fan of writing down as much as I already know before I key the radio and obtain the clearance. Often I already know where I'm cleared to, the initial heading, the Altitudes, and the departure frequency. So that's already written down. If you are using ForeFlight, and have the right settings switched on, ForeFlight will communicate with Leidos Flight Service to file your plan, and then get back from the ATC system what your clearance will be (or very, very likely will be). So you can have that already written down. I also have Foreflight transfer that to the Flight Plan Edit block. It is very few occasions when what Clearance Delivery (or Ground) reads to me isn't what ForeFlight already knows. So when it is, and they don't say "as filed", then I just read the information back from the ForeFlight Flight plan block. By writing down as much as you know in advance, it really helps with the controller speaks so fast, he's reading the transponder code and you barely finished writing down the first third of the route.
  17. Another cool ForeFlight trick

    Where is this? Amongst the "gauges" along the bottom of the moving map?
  18. Sport Pilot training in DFW?

    Best place in the metroplex for this is at Addison. http://www.ussportaircraft.com/training/ And most folks who can qualify for the 3rd class medical are doing PPL. More flying privileges and more available aircraft t rent or own.
  19. I am looking for Sport Pilot training locally, preferably out of Hicks or Meacham. I'm not seeing any mention of it on the sites I have looked at. Who is doing this? Any Sport Pilots here, or is everyone skipping that and doing PP/VFR?
  20. I know some of you are working on getting IFR rated, and inevitably once you get rated and start flying IFR one of the things you are most likely to fumble with is copying the IFR clearance. Even experienced IFR pilots seem to have trouble with it. Personally I almost always go IFR when I am on a cross country trip even in good weather because it gives me practice working the system. Flying skills are perishable and particularly IFR, so with a bit of knowledge and practice, simple things like copying clearances get just that much easier. When I first started I followed all the advice you get from the experts on the subject, diligently following the C-R-A-F-T method and found it just didn't work for me. That's not to say it's bad advice, just that it required me to think faster than my slow brain works. So maybe that method works for some, but I'm just not that smart. That's not to say C-R-A-F-T is useless, because you will always get your clearance in that order unless the controller is doing something wrong. I just copy the whole thing down consecutively and don't worry about categorizing all the fields while I'm copying. More on this later. The first thing that's worth mentioning is how you file your flight plan. You can file your flight plan with nothing more than the origin and destination. Once filed, the computer will spit out your actual flight plan based on any required routings. The advantage to this is you won't get any arrival or departure procedures if they aren't required. The disadvantage to this is you might not get the transition you might prefer, or you might get a routing that you don't want. For instance, when flying from KNEW back to KGPM, I don't want to get routed over the lake, so I file via RQR VOR which is to the west. More on this later, but speaking of this I'll use this flight which I made on Monday as an example, which was KNEW RQR CQY DODJE5 KGPM. The next step which I think is important is knowing what the computer spit out. Foreflight has some great features which will actually send you a message when your route is accepted and will automatically load it into your active flight plan. You can also go to FlightAware.com and search on your tail number. Provided there's been enough time for it to process, you can find your flight plan there. Have your accepted flight plan up on your iPad or on the same piece of paper you're going to copy your clearance. C More often than not, your clearance is simply going to be something like "cleared to GPM as filed". The C part is actually just GPM. This is your clearance limit. While it is possible your clearance limit would not be your destination, this has never happened to me. R The R part is just "as filed" which means the route which you hopefully already have handy has been accepted. If what you filed and what the computer spit out aren't the same, then you're going to have some work to do writing down the route. This is where your homework will pay off. If you already have this information, then it's probably going to be the same. It is possible that from the time the computer originally spit out your route and now your route changed, so be ready if it's different. This is where shorthand is a must. For arrival and departure procedures, I always write down the first letter of the procedure and the number. So Hubbard Nine becomes H9. Kingdom Four becomes K4. You get the idea. There's all sorts of other shorthand methods and I'm not going to cover them all, but the point is develop something that works for you. In this case my route is something like "Reserve VOR, Dodge Five Arrival with Cedar Creek transition", but that's exactly what I filed, so all I get from Clearance Delivery is "as filed". A The shorthand for altitude is pretty simple. They will almost always assign an intermediate altitude followed by the altitude listed in your accepted flight plan. So "climb and maintain four thousand, expect eight thousand ten minutes after departure" becomes CM40 X80 10. F Departure frequency is pretty simple, but I simplify it even more by only copying the two numbers before and after the decimal point. For instance, 135.975 becomes 35.97. Unless you fly military aircraft, the first number will always be a 1 and the last number doesn't matter because you can't change it in your radio anyway. If you read back 35.97 instead of 135.975, ATC probably isn't going to call you on it. For the record, I never read back more than 4 digits even during routine frequency changes. Unnecessary communications is like nails on a chalkboard to ATC and they generally appreciate any effort to shorten transmissions. T Transponder code is self-evident. I usually write down S1234 just to remind me to read back "Squawk". Even though I've broken all these things out, I just copy them all onto one or two lines. With practice you should be able to read these things back exactly as they were given even when the controller talks like an auctioneer. This isn't going to happen the first few times out, so when you first call them up say "Speak Slowly". Immediately after getting your clearance, put as much of it as you can into your GPS, Radio, and Transponder. Don't wait until after you start taxiing as inevitably you'll forget something. Taking off with the wrong squawk code, coming up on the wrong departure frequency, and flying the wrong route on departure are all grounds for a deviation. You don't want to be fumbling around with those things after you take off. Inevitably this happens and you learn why it's a great idea not to let it happen. Another fun topic is a new clearance once airborne. This once happened to me no less than 4 times enroute. This is really where it pays to be skilled in copying down clearances, because if you think it's hard on the ground, wait until you're trying to copy down a clearance single pilot in the soup with no autopilot.
  21. Another cool ForeFlight trick

    I went a couple of years without using Foreflight, I'm using it again now and it really has a lot of neat features. The estimated glide range ring is one of my favorites. We flew home from Abilene in the dark last weekend, and 80% of the time I was able to keep an airport inside the glide ring. 100% of the time I-20 was in the glide ring. I generally try to avoid night flying, but it is really nice to have that extra tool when you need it.
  22. Bought a new shed out back for my mower

    Thanks! Eventually we will build a hangar in the backyard (our house backs up to the runway at KWEA, and we have access to the runway).
  23. Restaurant at KADM is still alive and well

    Good to know, thanks!
  24. Bought a new shed out back for my mower

    I see you're taking advantage of the tax deduction by using it as a business space as well. That is your work desk there under the wing right?
  25. I stopped in there a few days ago to pick up a passenger. I didn't eat, but noticed the restaurant is still active. I think it used to be the Blue Pig, but now it's some other BBQ joint.
  26. Earlier
  27. VDP, what is it?

    Yes, you can’t execute the missed approach until you reach the MAP. IIRC, I think you can go as far as 2.5 nm after the MAP and still be guaranteed obstacle clearance provided you can meet or exceed the minimum climb gradient.
  28. Multifunction pens

    nifty! have to find an FBO giving them away.. I must fuel at the cheap shops
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