Friday, September 16, 2005


Flying Lesson #51

I can't go on to the next training stage until I pass my stage check with the chief instructor, and unfortunately, this week's business trip made it impossible to schedule the stage check. Today, my instructor gave me a few regulation and weather questions in preparation for the stage check, and then we got in the air and practiced diversions.

A "diversion" is an event when the pilot decides to abandon the current flight plan and land at a different airport. It could be due to weather, equipment failure, illness, or just because you feel like it. When you divert, you turn the plane in the general direction of the new destination, and then do all the measurements and calculations necessary to determine wind correction angle, ground speed, estimated time of arrival, and fuel usage. The calculations aren't difficult, but performing them while simultaneously flying the plane is a lot more difficult than doing them while on the ground.

My instructor played the role of a sick (or crazed) passenger, leaning over onto me, onto the controls, and so on, so in addition to managing the plane and the nav log, I had to keep pushing him out of the way. I've decided that in a real emergency, I may just push the passenger out the door.

Logged today: 1.4 hours dual in N9103M, with one takeoff and one landing. Cost: $300.

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