Tuesday, January 18, 2011

From the ground to the sky

To be watched in Full HD

A film from Noé Castillo.

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.