Pre-licence check: part II

In which I learn how to start the Jab in cold weather, manage to do half my pre-licence check and fight with the throttle.

For once, the weather gods decided to cooperate and gave me nice weather, so I headed out to Lilydale to do the practical part of my pre-licence check.

I was sent down to the shed (hangar) to preflight 5231. I wandered down there, found 5231 sitting outside the shed, and did the preflight. J wandered down and we jumped in and tried to start it – without much luck. It was cold, so J said that it was time to ‘get out the hairdryers’. For a moment I wondered if he actually meant hairdryers, then I figured it was some slang term for something in the hangar used to warm up the engines. We dragged it over to the hangar, then J grabbed two actual hairdryers. I was just like “You weren’t joking….” So we plugged in the hairdryers and pointed them into the air intakes for the engine to warm it up a bit. Since J had that under control, I walked down to the school to grab a 3rd cushion.

When I got back, we jumped in and tried again to start the engine. We were more successful this time and taxiied over to 36 to take off. We departed upwind and headed out to the training area.

The first thing we went through was a few stalls. I went through the HASELL checks, and after doing the clearing turn, made the decision to fly slightly further away from the nearby town before doing the stalls (PIC move, woo).

The first two stalls were power off stalls in clean configuration. They were fine, although during recovery from the second one I didn’t add the power quickly enough, so we lost some altitude.

The third stall was in the approach confirguration (2000rpm and half-flap) which was fine, no wing drop or anything.

We then tried some steep turns, in each direction. Overall they were good, I got it into the turn and it had that 2G feeling, so it was all good.

After that it was time for some unusual attitudes, with J taking control and putting it into the attitude then me having to take control and recover. We did a few high nose and a few low nose and I recovered well from each one. I made sure I remembered that you had to level the wings before raising the nose when recovering from a low nose attitude, unlike a high nose attitude where you can lower the nose and roll the wings level at the same time.

We couldn’t do any forced landings or circuits today because the throttle was playing up a bit, idling between 1300rpm and 1600rpm even with the throttle pulled fully out.

So we headed back and joined crosswind. We considered trying a precautionary search but decided that it wasn’t going to be possible because of the throttle so instead decided to do a full stop on 36R. I was determined to do the landing myself, to get the experience. We used full flap to slow us down and it turned out to be a pretty nice short field landing! 🙂

Next lesson we’re going to finish the pre-licence check, doing circuits, force landings and a precautionary search. Then, after that, assuming I do well, I’ll be able to book in for my test. Now I just need to hope for good weather!

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5 Responses to Pre-licence check: part II

  1. GraemeK says:

    Great to see you finally got some flying in!

    Yep – I had to battle with 5231’s throttle today also. We did circuits, so I had to call out “Idle” when I about to flare and Craig would pull back hard on the throttle on his side which would bring it back to idle (on my side, it wouldn’t go below 1200rpm no matter how hard I pulled). Sooner 5231 gets its new engine the better!

    Very bumpy on early downwind, just after the turn. At one stage, we got a massive left wing drop which left us at 90 deg angle of bank. Eventually gave up as the front advanced from the south west.

    BTW – loving the HTC, I’m keeping all my tracks and learning from them.

  2. Darky says:

    This is my post from last week, I didn’t fly today 😦

    It’s still flying with that throttle? It was grounded after my flight last week. On the other hand, it does seem to have improved a little, it gets down to idle now!

  3. GraemeK says:

    Ah yes, it does say “11th”!!

    • Darky says:

      I’ve just been a bit slack about writing it up tis all, but I always make sure that they’re dated the day of the mission 🙂

  4. outter control says:

    In any case you find throttle or a thrust lever not responding as normal, a deversion would be the most responsible action to carry out immediatly and the aircraft grounded until a qaulified aircraft mechanic inspects and tests the operation of the aircraft prior to any further flights carried out.
    To continue a flight, specially a training exercise with a student after discovering such a defect of the aboves nature is irresponsible and negligent of the pilot in command.
    It is the Owners and CFI’s responsibility to cease the service of the effected aircraft and have it rectified by a certified maintenance personnel before further flight carried out.

    In the case of the pilot pulling as hard on the throttle lever, this is not a normal practice in light aircraft, no lever or flight controls should ever needed to be pulled hard if in a serviceable state. If the defect is known to be unserviceable by the above instructor the effected aircraft should not have been released to service. If a pilot releases an aircraft in an Unservicable state and an accident eventuated the pilot could find himself accountable in a court of law. The further instruction to the student from instructor to call for “Idle” at the threshold is also a non standard to the industry and is not a ‘norm’.

    If you have reported a defect to your CFI that you believe a safety concern and find it returned to service or continued flight carrying that defect, ask another source of information either from the RAA or a local qaulified maintenance/service provider to find out the nature of defect and how it will effect flight. It could be screw missing out a secondary structure ie wing-to-fuselage fairing which would not require immediate attension and would not nessarly effect safety of flight at all.
    Or otherhand in the case of flight controls, brakes, engine controls the story changes and can be extremely critical to safety of the aircraft. The above defect in my opion falls into the later situation from the information given.

    If you continue to find critical defects being carried on aircraft by pilots without being reported to maintenance personel report it using a RAA-us Aircraft Defect Report found on thier website. If this becomes an ongoing occurance the RAA will investigate the operater. Reporting is a critical source to the RAA.

    In the case of the engine needing to be replaced due to a throttle control defect seems a little far fetched, you probably find cable/rod/screw maybe needs to be adjusted or re-rigged. Maybe talking to the maintenance provider before posting on a blog full of ambiguous information with no technical logic to public would be a good start.

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