Thursday, 14 February 2008

Asymmetric Effect

Time to think of resurrecting this weblog I suppose, having suspended another in the process. Since last I posted life has been more than a little frantic, as I try and work, involve myself in local politics as a ward councillor and complete a commercial pilot's rating; the latter hopefully with a final exam in March.

Today, I've been up in the cold and uniform grey gloom running asymmetric circuits in a Piper Seneca, in preparation for the practical exam next week. Even with just under 1200 hours of experience, it all gets a little busy up there, simulating engine failures and coming back in to land with one engine running. after a while, it will, like flying an ordinary Cessna 172, become second nature but with so much going on at once, it's still a struggle to remember the sequence and not to shut down the wrong engine once the instructor declares a simulated emergency just after takeoff.

Raise, the gear, lose the flaps, prop and pitch full forward on live engine, confirm the dead engine and feather before it reaches 800 rpm, mixture to cut-off, close the fuel, switch off the fuel pump, magnetos and alternator, close the correct cowl flap and so on. writing it helps me remember!

Meanwhile, back on the other job, it's the ecrime congress in three weeks and that's going nicely with the agenda set in stone now. This is the sixth congress and its remarkable how much the shape of criminal activitry has changed and evolved in six years, from a largely amateur pastime to one invilving sophisticated, international organised crime gangs.

Back to studying then. Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, who happens to be an airline pilot as well, described the academic part of commercial flight training as being "like trying to drink from a fire hose", a year on and one exam, the nastiest, navigation, remaining, I know what he means by that. Next time you travel on an airliner you might think of giving a little applause for the two people on the flight deck, simply for being able to survive and succeeed in the academic marathon that was involved!