carbon neutral since 1975

Month: October 2008

Election ’08: What Should I Do?

Mike has suggested we fast and pray leading up to election day.  This is one thing we can do to make a real difference.  Also, I was reminded today that whether or not your candidate of choice wins his race, it is your duty to make your world better, not your candidate’s duty and not the government’s duty.  So stand up and cheer or sit down and groan on November 4, but then get out there on November 5 and visit a prisoner or build a house or invite your neighbor over for dinner or tell someone the Good News about Jesus. Share whatever gift it is that God has given you and make a difference in your world.

Election ’08: How Should I Vote?

If I have any readers who are ready to vote next Tuesday and are considering Obama for President or any other pro-abortion candidate for any other office, I gently remind you that the right to life is the right upon which all others are based, the right without which no other rights hold any meaning, and the first right affirmed by our Declaration of Independence.  If we Christians are truly concerned about justice, then there can be no compromise on the value and dignity and equal protection of every human life!

You can read about Obama’s record on abortion all over the place.  Here is a good summary: Obama’s 10 Reasons for supporting infanticide.

Lesson 9 – Simulated Emergencies

Mom (a private pilot – not current [yet]) writes:

“On lesson 9, M. P. — a. k. a.  Mom — enthusiastically  became a passenger, enjoying the lesson that was built around recovering from emergencies.  Adam responded to the blocked instruments with confidence, and I might add, from my back seat driving perspective, skillfully.  The instructor began to abruptly simulate emergencies; such as ‘blocking the ailerons from moving’, ‘engine out, emergency landings’, ‘stuck throttle’,  and a few other situations that required thought and ingenuity to keep flying the aircraft.  Adam is soaring in this pursuit of flying.

If I have opportunity, I will gladly accompany future flights.  Thank you Adam for inviting me along.”

I did make two errors of ommission on this lesson.  First, I missed turning on the transponder during the pre-takeoff checklist.  Second, I forgot to correct for P-factor during the initial climb to altitude.  I was having trouble maintaining the heading till T pointed out that the ball was not centered.  Then I remembered right rudder.  But I probably won’t forget those two things again.

The simulated emergencies are good for building confidence.  All things considered, the Cessna 172 is a good glider.  The instrument and control outages force you to think about how to gather information about the airplane’s attitude and performance from alternate sources.  In turn, this helps one to understand all of the redundancies that are built in. Again, my landing proficiency advanced as I set up the approach almost entirely on my own, but I made two mistakes: 1. I overcontrolled when slowing the rate of descent and 2. I forgot to correct for wind drift so we landed on the right side of runway 27.

Lesson 8 – S-Turns Across a Road

In Lesson 8, B got to ride along.  I am not sure if he was nervous or not, but he tried distracting me several times during the preflight.  He has less patience when I delay my answers.   So when we got started taxiing, B noticed that the baggage door was open.  Well, that happened because I reached in there to hand him a pillow, but got distracted with reaching around through the main door.  So we stopped and closed the baggage door and continued with the flight.

Conditions were drizzly with a high enough ceiling, but only 4 miles visibility — barely above VFR minimums and a good opportunity to see what bad weather looks like.  We got to take off from runway 9 for the first time and we noticed that the colour of the water and the colour of the sky were the same.  That is, you couldn’t tell which way was up just by looking at the eastern horizon. T noted that that was the reason John Kennedy junior augered in.  So it’s important to trust your instruments.

During the climbout T simulated some instrument failures and I got some practice flying without an airspeed indicator and  then without an artificial horizon or directional gyro.  We flew North towards Appleton and found a road that ran North and South and practiced S-turns.  During this whole time, B was chattering non-stop.  After 3 or four iterations, we practiced one turn about a point (a barn in this case) and then headed back to Oshkosh.  On the way back we flew over our home and then landed on runway 9 where, with the exception of a departure from the runway center line, I was able to handle the landing on my own, with instruction from T throughout.

Even though I was reading each item aloud, I missed a key item on the shutdown checklist.  I forgot to turn the ignition off and remove the key.  This was another good reminder that you cannot allow yourself to be distracted, no matter what.  As the saying goes, “Aviate, navigate, and communicate — in that order.”  That is good advice for a motorist too.

Lesson 7 – Power on Stalls, Turns about a Point

Power-on stalls went just as well as power-off stalls.  They’re pretty hard to induce in the 172.  You have to get that yoke pulled back all the way and you get to a point where it feels like you’re up against the stops but you actually have another 6 inches you can pull.  It takes a lot to get that thing to stall at full power, at least when you do the procedure right.  I imagine if you went into it with too much airspeed, you would be in trouble.  On my first one I recovered a little aggressively so the nose ended up pointing at the ground, but the second one was just right.  I think we did 3 or 4, but I can’t remember because my mind was a little foggy last night; I’m not sure why.  I might have been a little tired from waking up at 5:30 and working all day.  I just felt like I couldn’t process information as quickly as I wanted.  For example, I had to listen to the ATIS broadcast three times to get it all down (granted, the controller had recorded it super fast).  But T said he couldn’t notice the fogginess and my progress and performance were still excellent.  In any case, I’ll try to get more sleep the night before next time.  It is kind of like playing poorly in a basketball game or having a less-than-stellar trumpet performance.  You want to get right back up there the next day and do better.

We also had a little time left after stalls and executed some turns about a point.  I had just read about them the day before, so I knew the concept, which really helps in digesting the instruction.  I think I picked it up pretty quickly.  I wasn’t nearly satisfied with my performance, but they sure are enjoyable.  I look forward to practicing them more.  Next time we’ll do S-turns across a road.

I am easily understanding why airmen that fly “low and slow” enjoy it more than just the shortest distance between two points.  It’s the difference between the Interstate and the back roads.  So it seems that after I get my license I’m going to have to find access to at least three different types at some time or another: a 6-seater, a 4-seater, and a low-and-slow 2 seater.

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