Friday, June 16, 2006 

Enter the Jet Phase

Automation, is it a good thing or a bad thing? I've already undergone almost two weeks of ground studies. Learning the intricacies of systems that keeps a jet plane in the air AND keep it one of the safests instruments of transportation in the world.

Automation has alot of acronyms. FMS, EICAS, AHRS, ADC, DAU, MFD, GPWS, and many many more. Plus, an acronym for one system might mean a whole other thing for another system, an ECU for the airconditioning system is totally different than an ECU for the APU. I sit in my personal bay at the computer based training room, staring at the huge monitor day in day out, trying to sponge off all the information I can get until my head starts getting wobbly, and I call it a day.

Did you know that you could get an information of how your engines are doing through at least THREE different displays and systems? Talk about redundancy! This doesnt even take into account of methods of implying what your engine is doing through other types of instruments. The systems are so sensitive that they'd tell me if the plane is off course by 0.1 Nm (roughly 200m) and this is accurate by 50 ft! Hell, if both engines blew off, which is the main source of power through generators, there are still basic equipments which would let me glide the plane for a landing. Of course we would descend a whole lot faster than a normal glider, but it's still somewhat of a controlled descent!

A few more weeks of groundstudy, some exams, and just waiting for space to open up at the next training point. I just cant wait to fly this sports car of aviation. Small, sleek, powerful. Hopefully I'll be one of the few who would be going up to FL490 (49000ft) and see the curvature of the Earth.

Friday, June 09, 2006 

CPL IR NT Rating

I passed my Flight Test on the 31st of May 2006...Route was

YPJT /N0180 A050 YCUN /N0180 A060 YBIU CKL YPPH/N0180 A040 YPJT
DLA/ YCUN 0100 YPPH 0015
RMK/ YCUN NAT not above 5000 within 10 Nm Radius YPPH Req 1 x P ILS

The whole flight itself was one of the best that I've ever had. The Chief already briefed me on what he wanted to see for the flight. So it was a matter of just flying the plane, had to handle traffic seperation, procedures, radio calls, and plane management by myself. Sounds hard, but it really is liberating. I could do what I thought was right and he'd just sit there looking out. He did intervene when I didn't take into consideration the possibility of flying into a danger zone. Over all lessons that I could learn are;
  • give more thought to changes in track due to atc intervention
  • must be more "lively" when handling emergency situations
  • must always question myself on what can I do now to ease the next phase of flight
  • must force myself to look at the end of runway for night landings

Things that I did well are;

  • very meticulous in procedures (checks, radio calls, standard callouts)
  • ILS and NDB (Instrument Landing Systems, and NDB)

Of course these are besides the fact that I could just fly the plane around.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 

CPL IR NT Rating (The Preparation)

Passed. That't the only thing that's going through my mind right now. I'm sitting in my cleaned out room with only my laptop left unpacked. The slow warmth of fatigue is just setting in.

I finished a very messy last sortie with my instructor on the 30th of May. My procedures were off, my radio calls were messy and other than being within flying tolerances, every other aspect was messy. I came down frustrated with myself. Knowing well enough that I could do better and have done much better. As my instructor walked into the debriefing room, he looked at me and shook his head. I prepared myself to hear him tell me that we have to repeat this sortie, which would mean I'll be staying here for another week or so. He sat in front of me, looked at me for awhile as I sat there in front of him dejectedly.

"Well, your flight test is tomorrow." he said.Stunned, I kept quiet.

"I know that you know all there is to know. It's just that you need a push to excel, to grab the ball. I don't know, maybe you should drink coffee before your flight....wake you up a bit. So since you need a bit of a shock, your flight test is tomorrow, I've talked to the CFI and he's put you up at nine a.m. tomorrow. Go and ask him the route you'll be doing."

I got the route at seven p.m. I couldn't sleep that night. Locked the door to my room. Set the alarm to four in the morning and shut my eyes at nine that night. My mind kept playing every scenario that could happen for the flight the next day. In the dark, I checked my phone and saw it was past midnight. Several more thoughts raced through my head and the next thing I knew, my alarm was blaring away.

Washed my face, coffee mug in hand, I began preparing for the flight. Reviewing procedures, calculating the winds, calculating times, drift allowances, planning contingency plans, and just plain pouring over a visual map to make sure I knew the ground features to heart.

By seven thirty and my third cup of coffee, I was ready.