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2005 Accelerated Instrument Training - Day 2

What We Did:

Date: April 2, 2005

Bill picked me up for breakfast around 8 AM again - this will be the standard for the week, it seems.  OK by me - I'm not a morning person, and since the clocks are changing tonight and we'll have more time to fly in the afternoon/evenings, I don't see a problem with starting late.

Anyway, after breakfast we headed over to Bill's office in the pouring rain and decided to concentrate on all the oral/ground instruction in the morning, and then do a lot of FTD work later. If the weather got a lot better, we might go up for a flight, but I wasn't real keen on doing a low IFR day with heavy rain and low level windshear of up to 50 Kts. forecast. Bill concurred that it might not be the best idea, so we would just play it by ear and see how the day went. We talked about taking a short flight in his C-172, but he didn't think that it would be particularly useful for me to do that, considering the large differences between the two aircraft.

We spent about 3-4 hours covering rules, regulations, procedures, radio work, clearances, and just about everything else that you could TALK about, interspersing that with FTD work, and then we continued on the FTD. I spent just about the whole afternoon practicing holds and approaches of all different types with varying levels of wind from different directions. Every time I'd screw up, Bill would have suggestions and techniques for dealing with whatever action I had been unable to perform. Of course, after 6 - 8 hours of this, I started getting better (and my brain started melting and seeping out of my ears).

I finally started getting the "gestalt" of determining my position (when unknown), deciding which way to go to get to the next "fix", deciding what type of entry to use for a hold, determining what altitude I was supposed to be at and when I could descend to the next altitude without being told to do so, and figuring out how to stay within one or two dots of centerline of whatever course I was supposed to be on without wandering around like a drunken sailor.  Definitely a lot of improvement during the day.

Around 6 PM, we headed out with one of Bill's friends to an "all you can eat" Chinese restaurant buffet, and then Bill dropped me off at the motel around 7:30 PM. I watched a NASA video he had given me on "General Aviation Icing Issues", which, while a bit dry, was pretty decent at showing the dangers of icing, the methods for avoiding/getting out of icing, and when to do what.

Lastly, I played with my Garmin 195 GPS to ensure that I could set it up to use any navigational aid (VOR, NDB, intersection) as a waypoint, and then I shut down for the night. Tomorrow, I believe that we'll be flying a LOT.


I took a few pics at Schenectady over the following days - I'll put them here since this day has a short description.

This first one is Bill standing in front of my plane. He's a pretty big guy, but the only issue was getting in and out - he said he was VERY comfortable in the aircraft for hours at a time.
Here's N83MZ on a wet day, in between raindrops. Fortune Air's hangar in the background was a WWII hangar with a reinforced bombproof concrete roof. I'm sure all the C-172's inside feel very safe.
Here's a long shot of five C-130's parked on the other side of the airfield. Apparently, the only ski-equipped C-130's in the world fly out of Schenectady, doing Search and Rescue type work. Who knew?

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