Thursday, July 21, 2011

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!

So yesterday I was supposed to fly to Grand Junction with Shawna.  We were going to take turns flying and being the safety pilot for each other so that we could build some cross country and simulated instrument time.  The day was beautiful.  Shawna's insides were not.  She texted me and said she was feeling sick.  Bummer.  

Fortunately, there was another pilot around, Brandon, who agreed to fly with me for an hour or so and do practice approaches into Provo, because I need the practice.  We flew the DA40 for this flight.  It was a bit different because I've been flying approaches in the DA20 which has round gauges and no HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator), which really sucks honestly.

So we went and flew the ILS 13 and VOR/DME 13 approaches.  Wow!  What a difference the HSI makes.  So much easier to track courses and fly the DME arc.  I was rocking the approach all the way until I get about 500 feet above the ground.  Then everything seems to go to crap...and I think I figured out why.  At that point I'm re-configuring the airplane for landing and it likes to balloon up and so I start freaking out about losing the glideslope and then end up loosing the localizer too.  I'll get it right sooner or later.

Today was interesting.  I decided to take a flight this evening with Ashlee Stoddard in the DA40.  We were just going to fly up to Ogden, do a touch and go, and then head on back home.  Nice fun easy flight. Well I get the plane all preflighted and everything is ready to go.  Master-On. Position Lights- On.  Fuel Pump- OnThrottle- 1 inch.  Prop- full forward.  Mixture- full rich for 3 seconds then back to idle cut-off.  CLEAR PROP! Starter- engage.  Prop turns a half spin and then stops and then nothing.  Try again.  Same thing.  Battery is dead.  Ugh...

So I then go and get another airplane, a DA20, ready to go (I was really wanting to fly the DA40).  Do my pre-flight inspection.  Everything is good to go, except that it doesn't quite have enough fuel to make the trip.  So we taxi over to the fuel pump.  Ground the airplane, and then run the card.  Complete all the annoying prompts that it gives me and then go pump the fuel.  I squeeze the lever...and a small stream comes out. Then nothing.  What the heck??  So I go and check it and the transaction has been completed already.  Weird.  So I do it all again.  Same thing.  I grab the reciept and then notice that it says, "Remaining balance: $0.01" money to buy fuel with.  So I decided to scrub the flight to Ogden and just fly around local and just dink around for fun.  (I didn't think about it till after the fact, but I could have used my own credit card and bought fuel and then had it reimbursed). 

So we flew around while, and checked out the rodeo and the carnival going on.  Flew past the Y where there were a ton of people hanging out on it.  Probably making out.  That's what I'd be doing.  ANYWAY...I rocked the wings at them to say HELLO!   Went and did a touch and go at Provo.  That was perfectly executed and greased the landing.  However a guy in a Stationair came up on me rather fast and ended up having to go around because I still on the runway.  Now, unless I'm wrong, I believe it's common practice that if you have to go around to avoid an aircraft on the runway, you sidestep to the right of the runway to pass that aircraft.  Well...this guy side stepped to the left and I was quite surprised when he called and said he was on my left wing.  This creates a few problems.  One, he was going faster than me so he ended up ahead.  Two, he had to turn right to stay in the pattern.  Three, that turn was going to put him right where I was going to be. Because it was after 9:00 pm, the Tower was closed so we didn't have a controller helping us out here. He asked me what my intentions were.  I was going to do another loop in the pattern, but i saw him there and was a bit confused so I made a decision to abandon that but I told him that I would turn right to avoid him.  Well then he announces that he's going to turn right to start the crosswind leg.  I was so confused as to what was going on.  So I just kept him in sight, leveled the wings to fly straight and climbed until we were no longer a threat to each other.  Now that I think about it, I probably could have announced before all this took place what my intention was going to be but I really didn't realized how close behind me he was and I didn't hear him announce that he was missed approach either.  Wow...I'm still confused just thinking about it.  And just to give you and idea of how quick you have to be on your feet up there, this entire episode began and ended in about 10 seconds.

Left Provo and came on back to Spanish Fork.  Landed runway 12 with some funky winds right over the threshold.  Put it on the ground and taxied back to parking.  

Fun flight.

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