Thursday, December 2, 2010

No flying, no posts

Preparing my mid year exams, I have no time to post nor to fly. And I doubt that if had some spare time to fly I could because of the weather... 
As a result, I'm not planning to fly before Christmas. Why ? Flying for me is still very tiring and it wouldn't do any good if I do it in the middle of my exams. So I'm reserving my next flight as a gift from Santa.
I'll keep the blog updated for some non-related and certainly for some related aviation posts in the near future.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Being tested is what life is about

Wednesday I was at the military hospital for my medical flight license. My eyes, my ears, my heart and so on were tested. I failed one test: the breathing part. I predicted it. The doctor says I have to be tested in greater depth.

Tuesday - Sunday, Life has been better, I'm on the hot seat, I gotta prove them that my place is in the cockpit ! I get in for sport. Running around, my legs are hurting I breathe in the freezing seasonal air, I'm not used to that.
 I want to fly since I'm 3. This is not the way I want it to end ! I hear a plane flying above the clouds and remember that I'm a part of it. I don't give up.

Monday Back at the hospital, I get into this pressurized cabin, the doctors are briefing me on what instructions I will have to follow and what they expect from me.
I will be inhaling a product that is going to irritate my lungs. If I react to early I'll be out of the competition.

We're on the roll, I breathe in and out as hard as I can, then the doctors administer the galling product... It gets harder and harder to breathe properly. I remember my operation last year and how I managed to get over it.
I think about the beauty of flying. It helps.

This is it, the doctor has the results, he disappears behind a door. I can't stop walking around, my father is there, he is sure it's gonna be fine. And I, I don't know, The doctor appears and says:
"Well, I have come to a conclusion, it is normal."

Those words... Wow, finally. I just won my ticket for the cockpit !

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Finally a GO !

We were on the tarmac at 11:30am. My instructor went to fetch a headset for me. So, my dad and I took advantage of the moment to tow the aircraft out of the hangar and park it on park 24 platform 4 at Charleroi. I was doing my external inspection when he came back, and being all set, we board the aircraft and fired it up.

Moments later:
_Charleroi ground, good morning, Oscar Oscar Victor November india.
_Oscar Oscar Victor November India, go ahead ?
_Oscar Oscar Victor November India, on platform 4 request taxi instructions for touch go's.
_Oscar Oscar Victor November India, taxi to platform 5 for the run ups, call back when ready for departure.
_Taxi platform 5 for the run ups, and will contact when ready, Oscar Oscar Victor November India.

The cold Lycoming, taxied us to platform 5 without problems...

Fuel pump off, check fuel pressure is in the green. Checking Ammeter. Then rpm 2000, carb check and magnetos check, mixture cut off check, throttle Idle, and check stable.

Now our precious Lycoming is ready to deliver maximum power for take-off !

the revolutions per minute rises to 2600 as the admission pressure increases. Airspeed alive, engine instruments in the green, right rudder, 60knots: rotation...

Our Tomahawk is lying safely in the smooth and fresh air. I'm still concentrated on keeping the nose on the horizon. I attained safety altitude after a minute, then turned off the fuel pump and landing lights at the same time and rapidly monitored the engine instruments, if there is any problem at this stage, fuel pump will be turned back on and if the problem persists we will declare an emergency.
But there isn't anything to declare. So I banked the aircraft to the left and turned perpendicular to the runway...

OK, I'm starting to relax a bit after turning on downwind leg and leveling off at 900 feet above the ground. We are alone in the circuit and the lycoming engine is delivering it's best performance and it feels good.

But soon the work load appears again: Fuel pump on, landing lights on, carburetor heater on, mixture full rich, flaps 21°, 2200 rpm, a bit of trim, announce : ready to turn on base to the tower.
Throttle back to 1500rpm, trim for 70 knots, turn on final announce << On final >> to the tower, turn off the carburetor heater. And land the airplane. ..

I kissed that Piper on the ground ! Must be the beginner's luck.

Full throttle...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Go or No GO


This is now two weeks that I'm trying to fly. 3 scheduled flights all No GO, because of the wonderful Benelux weather we have up north !

Todays flight is for 4p.m local, final weather report is at 2p.m local, getting my stuff ready. We certainly won't have, horizontal visibility exceeding 7500meters later today. For now It's overcast at 300 feet and visibility at 3200meters. Drizzle and rain moderate, but seems to be getting better.

I'm planning on filming my flight this time and land it on Youtube in a couple of days. But obviously only if I get some altitude in the next hours...

It's definitely the end of the "Nice season". I haven't flow much at all, only 5 hours. I'm not too optimistic for the next months either. Flying season is for April next year. Now it's Homer season...

If it's a no go for today I'm rescheduling for tomorrow if there is a slot.

I've been thinking of a new system for mounting my camera in the cockpit. At low rpm the camera is picking up all the vibrations that our So precious 112 horse power Lycoming engine produces.

More info later on.

Hopefully we will be flying in between two layers of clouds today...

Well negative:

As I expected it's a no go for today. Rescheduled for tomorrow but there isn't previsions of any improvement...

So I'm checking out for Wednesday afternoon and hopefully the weather will improve.


Today is CAVOK, visibility greater than 10 kilometers. Still it's a No Go ! The reason why, 15knots of wind gusts at 25. This instability is caused by a low pressure area above iceland and the north atlantic sea...

Anyways I'd rather be dreaming of being up there while i'm down here, than dreaming to be down here while i'm up there !

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sanicole Air show

My family some friends and I are going to go, to the Sanicole air show which is the only civil air show in Belgium.
This years theme are " It takes two " and the celebration of the 35th year since the end of Vietnam's war.

Paul Bonhomme aand steve jones with the red bull matadors, Turkish stars, the skyhawks, swift aerobatics, Twister duo, B-17 sally, Flying Bulls, Belgian air force etc...

This years air show particularity will be the sunset air show, the performers will be performing at noon with special effects. It looks really exciting !!!

The air-show will take place on Sunday 19 september...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Speed, altitude, field ?

We are at 2500 feet QNH level flight 60 knots, flying the aircraft in football mode like we say. Football mode is used in low speed flight, so we are flying on the rudder pedals.
Look outside my instructor says, I'm checking out the airspeed, in fact my eyes are stuck on the airspeed indicator. Speed is life you know. 

I'm doing a 360° degrees to the left in football mode.

Me: _What was my initial heading ?
Instructor: _I don't know...

Ok I have to estimate my starting heading and find a visual point on the ground.  Yes I tend to forget some times I'm in Visual flight rules. Flight sim's fault.

Me: _Oh I remember the road !
Instructor: _Good now same thing to the right.

Gotta get myself in a football club I think.

2mins Later...

Wings leveled at 2500 feet, flaps up 55 knots angle of attack near 14°

Instructor: _keep level flight ! Keep level flight ! OK no ease on the yoke !

Full throttle, rudder to the right, 70 knots pull up, climb !
Wow, a first stall for me. We lost 300 feet. The left wing stalled before the right wing. A mini spin recovery. The tomahawk is not the most forgiving in stalls. 

Flaps 21 , throttle idle, level flight.
Full throttle ! Rudder to the left, more, more, more to the left, flaps up 70 knots pull up and climb.
The tomahawk is definitely not forgiving much in stalls. This makes it fun to fly.

2500 feet, 90 knots, engine failure. 
Whisper: Speed is life, speed is life, speed is life. 

Look for an open field in the wind. Wait, where does the wind come from ? SPEED ! Ok wind 220/11 knots. Downwind leg, 
Check engine instruments
Fuel pump...on,
Carburetor heater...on,
Monitor engine instruments, it will not fire back up. 

Get the speed back to 70kt.

Take off the headset
unlock doors
prepare for impact

I'm saying to myself, turn, no too high too fast... Ok now.

Instructor: _ You're sure we're gonna make it ?
Me: _ Uhhh..., yea..., no... Yes !!!

Flaps 21, full flaps. Go around, flaps up, climb at 70 knots.

2 seconds later...

later engine failure, there is a highway just ahead 200 meters, yea but there are high trees on the way. We won't make it. 
Ok go around.

10mins later...

_Charleroi tower, OO-VNI, with information Zulu, ahead of thuin at 1500' request landing instruction.
_OO-VNI, roger, report overhead thuin, QNH 1018, enter left hand downwind rwy 25.
_QNH 1018, left downind rwy 25, we will report overhead thuin OO-VNI.

I was able to fly the VOR. Trying to stay on the radial.

_We are overhead thuin, OO-VNI.
_OO-VNI, report on downind.

_On downwind, OO-VNI.
_OO-VNI you are number 1 call back on final.

_On final, OO-VNI
_OO-VNI, you are cleared too land rwy 25, winds 190 at 7.
_Cleared too land, OO-VNI. 

One hour and six minutes of pure work, I loved it. A really fun flight we did.
But back home I had to catch some few winks.

Friday, August 6, 2010

14th July

We woke up at seven a.m. The sun was rising. We were looking forward at assisting to the parade of the 14th July on the Champs Elysée. Aware of the weather previsions we just thought it wasn't going as bad as it actually was going to be.
We left the hotel room at nine a.m and took the subway. A part of the leg was out in the open, we could get view of the sky.
<< Seems like the previsions failed to be right for today >> Said my Father
I wasn't so sure about that as there were cirrus clouds high over us.
We got off and settled about 300meters away from the Arc de triomphe. Which was revealed to be as a not so good nor a bad ideas, because we still got to see SOME of the Parade. So at about half past ten it started.
The rain stroked the drops were as big as a bomb. We got the raid before the planes.
But I didn't miss a bit of it !

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Air show 2010

Saturday and sunday, took place the air show 2010 of Beauvechain. I was present, and this means I assisted for the first time at an air show.
It was fantastic !

We saw several aerobatic teams such as the Royal aerobatic Moroccan team called "Marche Verte", and the Royal Jordanian falcons.

They gave to us a brilliant show, especially the "Marche verte" took off attached to each other with ropes, and then just broke them by splitting the formation.
I assisted as-well to solo displays performed by fighter jets, the Rafale, F16 fighting falcon or viper, F18 hornet and the Grippen Saab JAS-39 were present and aerobatic aircrafts Melissa Pemberton was over there too. She performed one of the most impressive displays.
Unfortunately I forgot my Camera

But here is a video of the Royal Moroccan Air Force Aerobatic team :

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I've finished my exams two days ago now, and I started to realize that I'm finally on vacation ! It wen't fine but for two subjects were I pretty much messed up. Especially in Dutch, boy this language is hard to understand ! Pronunciation and Dialogs are fine but the rest is a disaster... Oh and in French i'm not flying high either.

For the rest its OK.

So the subjects of my exams were :

  • Physics
  • English
  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Geography
  • French
  • Chemistry
  • Dutch

SOmething incredible, you must see :

and explanations right here:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

End of term exams

Hello !
Well I'm starting my end of term exams tomorrow. And so on for about two weeks. So normally I won't be posting much during this period.

Oh and I will be keeping my twitter up to date so don't hesitate and go visit my twitter profile here:


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Planes landing on whatever can be used as a runaway

found this on, it's worth watching :D.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The future of light aviation industry

Lisa Airplane presents the Akoya, a two seat aircraft capable of landing on water, snow and land !
Fly at 250km/h and only consume 5 liters for every 100km(62 statute miles), this is some serious competition versus cars. Only the most economical cars do consume a bit less or the equivalent !

But there is something even better. Combine ecology, speed, economy(obviously) with a plane. Lisa airplanes are now working on a project called the Hy-Bird.
Hybrid motorization: batteries and a fuel cell.

Maybe this is the future of light aviation, and I hope it is ! Fly cheap and fast (but buy it expensive), from anywhere to somewhere better.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

International Flight

External inspection completed, my instructor and I board the aircraft. We're going too Maubeuge in France, for some touch and goes !!!

propeller area...................Clear
Ignition switches................Both

ACFT: << Carleroi Ground, OO-VNI, good after-noon >>

Tower << OO-VNI, Bonjour, go ahead >>

ACFT: << Charelroi Ground, OO-VNI, request taxi instructions for a VFR flight destination Maubeuge via Thuin. >>

the controller cleared us for the run up checks on our present position, and then told us to hold position, so that a B737 from Ryanair could pass... Nice...

Tower: << OO-VNI, you're cleared too taxi to Sierra 1, runway 07 QNH 1020 >>

ACFT: << taxiing to sierra 1, QNH 1020 >>

They cleared us for take-off.

The moment the aircraft first hooked up to the air we could feel it was going to be a bumpy ride. We lifted off. 
At 500ft above the ground: fuel pump off, we turned right on crosswind leg and afterwards in downwind, to follow the route we planned towards Maubeuge.

I was fighting against the thermals, and I must say my stomach was too.

We leveled the flight at 2000ft and flew west for about ten minutes. We could barely see the airport, far ahead of us, that we started our descent too 1500ft, and integrated right hand downwind runway 05.

In front of us was a Robin DR400, and above us, several gliders were climbing up a thermal.

At 1500ft, I performed the downwind checks:

Fuel pump............ON
Carb heater..........ON
Fuel selector........Change

The runway is 45° behind us, it's time to turn in base leg.
Throttle back to 1500rpm I kept level flight to 70knots and then started the descent. 
Trimmed the aircraft and turned right away on final.

On final I turned off the carburetor heater so in case of a go around the engine would deliver all it's power... The runway is coming closer and closer, and my first touch and go too.

Full crosswind was tending too blow us to the right of the runway. We passed the threshold,
While fighting against the wind to get the plane on the centerline and flare for touchdown, my instructor helped me put the plane in the runaway axis, rudder to the right and stick at the opposite. This was really scary... 

When the main gear touched down, I was paralyzed for a second , before I could actually put back the plane in take-off configuration... 
I have to say, seconds in life doesn't mean much, but in aviation...

So back in the left seat: flaps up, full throttle, full rudder to the right, nevertheless, we nearly went off the runway, and i'm not exaggerating ! 60 knots, lift off...
At 500ft, fuel pump off and there we go again !

back at Charleroi !
thermals almost won against my stomach

I'm telling y'all
this was
the most emotional flight
of my life :D...

My dream just  meters away, but years ahead...

I performed 3 touch and goes before setting back course on charleroi. I got sick during the return leg so the instructor took back the plane and I thank him a lot for that !

I now have 3H12 total time in the pa38. I love this aircraft !

Sorry I couldn't film but I haven't received the mouts for the camera. But next time I will for sure.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Timelapse Gatwick

video credit goes too Jordi Blumberg(GatwickSpotting):

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Showing my flights.

I have decided to buy a suction pad arm from RAM mounts, too record my flights !
It must be recorded with a Canon 550D in full HD. I'm sure I will be able to get some real good quality shooting.

But I am not sure when my next scheduled flight will be as I have exams coming up soon!!
Hope too bring up some stories soon in HD.

Oh! and I would like to thank my parents for buying me the material and making my dream become a reality!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Below the clouds

I looked out the window, and what I saw wasn't really rejoicing.

Dark gray sky, and at times this sky would give us rainfalls. I was anxious that my flight could be canceled...

An hour later, I checked the latest METAR and I let out a sigh of relief. It looked good enough for a nice local flight.

We arrived at the airport at 6:30pm and to occupy myself I went for a little walk. I was looking for a spot were I could see the planes. A few minutes later my Instructor was here,
after some time we started the briefing, during which time he informed me that we would be flying to the training area via Touhin, in the south-west of the airport which is not too far from France !

We headed for the plane...
OO-VNI - Pa38 tomahawk
I have 2 hours of flight on it.

Actually it has been elected, the nicest Piper pa38 tomahawk in Europe ! What an honor to pilot it.

As the Preflight walk around was complete, we got on the plane, and started to prepare for engine startup.

I'm just happy :)

Ok engine started moments later. I'm communicating with the control tower for the first time !
I hesitated a moment, and then started :

Me:      "Charleroi Ground, Oscar Oscar - Victor November India good evening"

Tower: "Oscar - November India, Good evening, go ahead"
Me:      "Oscar - November India, request a local flight of one hour, leaving the zone via Thuin"

The tower cleared us for taxi to "platform 5" for the run up checks. Afterwards, we were cleared to taxi to Sierra 4 runway 25 and then they cleared for take-off. The winds were at 070° for 6 knots.
This means we had 6 knots of tailwind. But there's nothing to worry about as the runway length at Charleroi is 2500 meters...

later on:

Full throttle...

sevral minutes later :
Me:      "Oscar November India, Overhead Thuin, request to leave frequency."
Tower: "Oscar November India, frequency change approved."

Heading west, lights start to glow as the night falls slowly on the kingdom, as we pierce this calm air at 160 km/h, the engine seems to be roaring quietly.

Moments later the silence was broken by the ATC. I could see the Y formed by the intersection of two roads.

Here it is! Our training zone. Without delay we started to work.
I slowly raised the nose of the aircraft above the horizon and started applying gradually more and more throttle to reach 2300ft. Then I slowly pulled back on the throttle and let the airplane descend towards the ground for us. It was as simple as that.

But it wasn't long before it became harder...

We climbed to 2700ft and started some steep turns above the plain, I could feel the G pushing me into my seat as I kept raising the nose above what I could see of the horizon.
We lost 100ft...

Then I did an aborted descent, climbed back to 2700ft for some slow flight. And then a spiral descent back to 1500ft.

Thats enough for today we're heading back home...

Soon entering Charleroi's airspace

Me:      "Charleroi Tower, good evening Oscar Oscar - Victor November India overhead Thuin request landing instructions."
Tower: "Oscar November India, copied, QNH 1012, enter left hand downwind runway 25 report on downwind leg."
My instructor: read back what the tower told us.

More and more houses are enlightened it's wonderful.

Me:      "Oscar November India, entering downwind runway 25"
Tower: "Oscar November India, you are number one, report final runway 25"
Me:      "Oscar November India, we will report final runway 25 (I forgot to say number one)"


Me:      "Oscar November India on final runway 25"
Tower: "Oscar November India, cleared too land runway 25 wind 250° 05 knots"
Me:      "Cleared too land runway 25, Oscar November India"

... life on the land continues ...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I did my first flight

After several years of waiting, my patience has paid off. I did my first training flight last week on a pa38 at Charleroi Gosseilies airport ! It was brilliant, I really loved it. We learned how to climb, descend and turn and I even did some steep turns !

So Tuesday 9th April 2010, my first training flight was scheduled as a student private pilot.
 I checked the Meteorological Bulletin one last time before leaving. It looked good, there was more than 10kms of visibility(6.5 miles) 7kt of wind at 030° no gusts.

Elevation: 614 ft.
Runway: 07(66° ) length: 2550m
Runway: 25(246°) length: 2550m

We met up, my Instructor and I at the airport,and after having a drink we headed for the the tarmac, now in appearance from inside the briefing room it seemed like a peaceful day with nothing to worry about, but when we first stepped on the tarmac the wind was blowing really strong ! It was confirmed later at the holding point, 20kt of wind !
So after a long walk towards the Aircraft the OO-VNI we finally arrived and we immediately started the preflight inspection, my instructor explained to me in detail one of the most important phases before flying. Flaps were deployed so we could check if the hinges were OK, then the ailerons, the wheels, the presence of both shakers on each wing, the oil quantity etc... Later we boarded the Piper and started the "Before start" checklist.
  • Preflight inspect...........................................Done
  • Parking Brakes...........................................Set
  • Fuel selector tank........................................Less
  • Master switch.............................................On
  • Avionics and Radio.................................... OFF
  • Mixture.......................................................Rich
  • throttle........................................................Open 1cm
  • Fuel pump...................................................On
  • Magnetos....................................................Both
  • Propeller.....................................................Clear
  • Magnetos....................................................Start

That's pretty much all of what I can remember. lol
After this we turned on the radios and asked a clearance for a VFR local flight. Which has been approved of course! We are cleared to taxi to Platform 5 to perform our engine run up checks. When this was done we rolled to S2 holding point RWY 07 and reported ready for departure! and I misunderstood a communication, I heard <<Victor November India cleared Into position>>. And it was actually <<Victor November India hold position>> ! Anyways my instructor was in charge of the communication.He explained to me that I can only get three types of sentences at the holding point after asking for departure: Hold position, Line up and wait and Cleared for take-off. In this way there is no confusion possible.

I'm getting back to the story lol so we were waiting at holding point S2 for a Cessna 152 to land. Later on, when the runway was vacated we got cleared for take off.
Now this is how it goes: Oscar Oscar Victor November India you are cleared for take off, winds at 040° 20knots have a good flight !
Yikes 20 knots of wind !!! My instructor asked me if I wanted to do the take-off and I said of course ! I haven't waited more than a year an half to miss one of the best parts of the flight ! So There we go !
Full throttle ! After a short moment I had to apply a bit of rudder to the right due to the crosswind, and at 60knots I pulled gently on the yoke and there we got lift off. What a magical moment!! but rapidly my stomach realized that we were in really turbulent atmosphere lol but I'm not going to give up ! One year and half remember ? We climbed to 1500ft QNH and flew to Presles(point of transition)  South east of the Charleroi airport.
Here is a chart for you guys:

At Presles we turned left towards east, and continued for a couple of minutes before heading north east to Namur, East from Charleroi. We climbed to 2100ft and then did a vertical terrain of Namur before heading for Gembloux, were we saw a farm of Geese. Then we descended back to 1500ft, and started doing some steep turns over some area north of Gembloux I think, I can't remember cause I was a little disoriented after those turns lol( hey for a first flight 45° to 50° of bank is a lot) :-) But what was surprising is, I maintained my altitude !
But rapidly my stomach started aching again and I decided to stop with the turns. Haha the rules of nature is way beyond the capacity of my motivation to continue flying(I guess you know why lol), we decided to return to Charleroi not because of my little disturbance but because it was time to go home. We headed west and flew direct to Victor(transition point) situated north of the airport. We soon got there and we integrated the left hand pattern for a short but sporty finale on rwy 07 there again I was in command but this time only partially, because of the wind the instructor helped me get this great plane on the ground, and we landed it really smoothly this was the second surprise of the flight lol. Fuel pump off we taxied to our parking spot, turned off the engine and everything else that could be turned off.
And later, we got off the plane. I spent 1 hour and 6 minutes in flight, this was one hour and six minutes of my life I will surely never forget.
I thank my parents for offering me the flight, and I thank the instructor for his precious help, and i can't wait to fly again, certainly in two weeks cause now, I have to bring good grades to be able to fly regularly. This was the point of no return(for the good grades and for aviation lol) I will never leave nor forget aviation it's in my veins. And it's clear I want to become a professional pilot, soon or later :-).