Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gusty winds = ground school

As I mentioned yesterday, the weather has been rather active this year. We avoided any storms today but instead have been treated to a cold front moving through, bringing with it some very high winds. The temperature and humidity are finally comfortable but it's hard to fly a small plane when the winds are 18 knots gusting to 26. Luckly I was about due for some ground work with Joe anyway, so we took some time this afternoon to sit down and do just that.

You might recall that I went through ground school last fall - I wrote about it a few posts ago on here. That classroom work covered a great deal of what I need to know for the knowledge test but there are other things to discuss on the ground as well. Today we went through my Pre-Solo Written Test and a Pre-Solo test for the plane I will be flying the most, the Champ. These are not standardized tests from the FAA - but it is required you pass them before soloing - and they consist of a couple pages with questions over the critical regulations, procedures, and operations you need to be familiar with before going up on your own.

I brought my camera along today so I could snap a few photos of the airport and the planes. Take a look below and hopefully you will get a slightly better feel for where I am learning to fly.

Yeah, it was windy

Cessna 150 sitting next to the fuel area

Piper Cub (65 hp) in the hangar

Cub up close - I flew this plane in Lessons 4 and 5

Runway - the yellow cones mark the left edge

Before I go, here's a cool and very useful fact that Joe taught me today. For most small single-engine airplanes (basically anything I'll be flying) the fuel consumption is 6 gallons per hour per 100 hp. You can use this ratio to figure out your gallons per hour quickly for any plane. So the Cub or Champ (their 65 hp engines can round to 66/100, or 2/3) use about 4 gallons per hour. Simple, yet highly useful!

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